Family Urges Locals To Join Cycling Challenge For Homeless People

OConnells side viewcropped

The O’Connell family in Brighton are taking part in the Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge on Sunday July 1st at Preston Park Veldrome, to raise funds for Brighton Housing Trust’s (BHT’s) critical work at First Base Day Centre which supports homeless people. They are appealing for more families to sign up.

Daniel – who works for the charity – and son Jacob O’Connell (6) will be trying to clock up the miles with laps around the Preston Park velodrome. The aim of the ‘Around the World Challenge’ is to collectively cycle the circumference of the Earth (40,075km) in a day. This is 69,215 laps! Last year Jacob managed 8 laps. He said: “It was fun last time and I want to beat daddy now I’m bigger and I’ve got a new bike from Cranks. I want to do 20 laps this time.”

Daniel said: “Every day First Base staff and volunteers make an inspiring difference to people who are sleeping rough or insecurely housed in the city. We want to help raise awareness of our range of services which support people to get off the streets. First Base helps them start realising their aspirations through work, learning and leisure and find a place they can call home.” 

It doesn’t matter how little you can do. Children can cycle around the oldest cycle track in the country for only £5 and will all receive a medal, have fun and raise vital funds for a great service in Brighton.

Nicky O’Connell is taking the Living Coast Classic Ride of 58 miles. Riders can choose the 30 mile Devils Dyke Loop. 

Nicky, who teaches in Sussex, added: “Cycling is such a great activity for children and adults. The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become.  Time spent playing outside  is down 50% in one generation and we know there’s a need to get kids active outdoors. This is a great opportunity to do that whilst helping such a good cause.”

This all day family-friendly event provides options for less confident and more experienced cyclists. Families with youngsters can ride laps around Preston Park Velodrome between 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm. Entertainment will take place throughout the day, and designated slots will be run for cycle clubs.

Cyclists on the Living Coast rides can split their sponsorship between BHT and other charities of their choosing.

For more information and to register for one of the challenges, visit

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