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Getting in the saddle for charity challenge

Members of Perspective Financial Group’s team are moving through the gears in preparation for a bike-riding fundraiser.

An intrepid duo are swapping the office for nearly 200 miles of Italian roads in a charity expedition.

Perspective Financial Group’s Charles Penn and Thomas Harrison are taking part in the Spinal Injuries Association’s (SIA) ninth Overseas Cycling Challenge next month.

The event – which starts and finishes in Pisa, and includes climbs totalling 7500 ft and covers 193 miles across three days – aims to raise more than £100,000. The pair hope to raise £3000 towards the cause.

Charles [pictured, above], who works out of Perspective’s Newcastle office, and North West-based Thomas, will join a wider team of 40 on the challenge, which will include a number of spinal cord injury (SCI) participants using hand or adapted bikes.

Charles says: “I have seen the real positive impact SIA has on the lives of people with spinal cord injuries and on their families, both in my current role here at Perspective, and during my ten previous years at a law firm.

“Our financial planning expertise helps people make full and effective use of their financial resources, so they can plan for, and achieve, the future they desire.

“And by supporting SIA, we are helping the charity become the go-to place for everyone affected by spinal cord injury, enabling them to plan for their futures too.”

But although he keeps himself in shape, Charles admits some aspects of the challenge are daunting. He says: “While I am a reasonably fit 61-year-old, who regularly swims, plays tennis and enjoys mountain walks, I have lived with Type 1 diabetes and ulcerative colitis for 20 years, so managing my blood sugars up those hills will be quite a challenge!”

Thomas adds: “My role, of managing awards of damages following serious injury, regularly brings me into close contact with people who have been personally affected by SCI.

“I’ve participated in disability cycling for many years, including as a tandem pilot for people with visual impairments on the velodrome.

“With my home cycle track closed for refurbishment, I have been looking for a big challenge – and this event is a perfect opportunity to raise both awareness and funds for a wonderful charity.

“Working at Perspective enables me to bring together two of my core beliefs: that financial planning advice should be for everyone, and that sport brings people together.”

Fellow participants will include Gary Dawson, SIA’s support network manager for the North.

He adds: “Life after injury doesn’t just stop – mine certainly didn’t.”

Perspective Financial Group
The Spinal Injuries Association’s Overseas Cycling Challenge takes place between May 19 and 21. Anyone wishing to sponsor Charles and Thomas, or who would like to help with training rides, should email [email protected] or [email protected]

Operating from 21 offices across the UK, including bases in Newcastle and Darlington, Perspective’s local offices provide financial planning advice on matters including retirement, later life and long-term care planning, inheritance tax, investments, protection
and corporate planning. If you would like to speak to a member of the Perspective team to better plan your finances, call 0191 217 3340 or 01325 289400.