A former pupil of a specialist dyslexia school in Staffordshire will be swapping his baking trays for bikes when he takes on the challenge of a lifetime.
Jack Gayton along with his friend Charlie, will be cycling from London to Morocco in aid of two mental health charities, Ewen’s Room and Papyrus in just three weeks.
The 2000 mile bike ride will see the pair cross two continents and go through six countries on their cycling adventure.
Jack, who lives in Grendon, Warwickshire was a pupil at Maple Hayes Dyslexic School in Lichfield. He finished around eight years ago before becoming a public servant for six years and then leaving to join and manage his family business – a bakery.
The route starts in London on Saturday, 15th April and they will be cycling to Newhaven where they will get the boat to Dieppe before continuing their journey to Paris, through to Andorra, Spain, Gibraltar and then to Morocco where they will end their challenge at the capital, Rabat.
They will be cycling on a mixture of terrain, on road bikes which have already seen the pair cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats. They will be carrying their tent, sleeping bags, clothes, food, medication, first aid and bike repair kits and plan to be self-sufficient the whole way.
Jack said: “We are quite confident that we should be able to ride about 100 miles a day and we are really looking forward to this challenge and it’s for two great causes.
“It took me a long time to get back on my bike after doing the Lands End challenge a few years ago, but I’ve really enjoyed getting back into training for this month and being able to push myself physically again, along with having a good goal to achieve,” he added.
Once they finish their challenge, they will be taking the much easier route of flying home.
Jack said it was great visiting his old school again which had supported him so much during his formative years.
“It’s crazy how long ago it was since I left but I’m so grateful to them. It really shaped me as the person I am today. You don’t realise as a kid quite how much something supported you. I look back very fondly at my time here and I’m still really close with many of my old school friends too.
“I joined Maple Hayes at eight-years-old. It was the perfect environment for something like myself as I had bad dyslexia. It’s not just the academic side that we learnt which was so important, it was also the manners and essential life skills. They went above and beyond. I got B’s and C’s in my GCSE’s which I’m really happy with and helped me with my job and go onto do management courses,” he said.
The pair have already raised £3,000 and want to increase the amount as much as possible before the end of the challenge.
Jack added: “Suicide is the UK’s biggest killer of people aged 35 and under. We believe that suicide is preventable which is why we want to raise money and awareness of it so please if you can spare some money do sponsor us.”
Dr Daryl Brown, the Schools headteacher, said: “We are so proud of all of our past pupils and love it when they come back to visit us – especially with such incredible achievements post their time with us, and of course when they are about to undertake an even bigger challenge.
“We wish the pair the best of luck and hope they not only keep us updated on how they get on, but also come and revisit us at the end so they can fill us in on their journey and let current pupils find out all about it too.”
To keep up to date with their journey, visit these pages
Charlie and Jack – (@london_to_morocco) • Instagram photos and videos