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Two Chelmsford mums raise more than £3,800 for charity

Two mums from Chelmsford have raised more than £3,800 for children’s charity Action Medical Research (AMR) by pedalling over 300 miles from London to Paris.

Close friends and long-time riding partners Natalie Rodrigues and Simone Iorizzo, swapped Chelmsford for the Channel when they set off on their journey from London on 20 July and the inspirational pair finished at the base of the Eiffel Tower on 24 July, just in time for the final leg of the Tour de France arriving into Paris.

Despite riding more than 85 energy-sapping miles on three of the four days, Natalie, who is weekend cover manager at High Chelmer, said she would do it all over again given the chance. “It was such a fantastic experience,” said the mum of two. “It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life but to be able to do it with Simone made it all the better. We’ve been training hard for the ride and we had an idea of what we were getting into, but this one really tested us. I’d do it again in a heartbeat though.”

“It’s the eleventh distance ride that Simone and I have completed since 2007 but despite its challenges such as the hills and the heat, it is by far and away our favourite. To be able to do a ride like this for such an important charity like AMR, and not only hit our target of £3,000 but to exceed it by more than £800, makes all the aches and pains that we had after it so worthwhile.”

With Natalie and Simone being so keen on distance riding and using pedal power to raise money for various worthwhile causes, in 2013 High Chelmer and the centre’s specialist security systems contractors, Centre Security Innovations, bought road bikes with one friendly stipulation – that the dynamic duo raise twice the amount that the bikes were worth.

High Chelmer Centre Manager, Mick McDonagh, said he was thrilled that Natalie and Simone had passed their target with the London to Paris ride. “I’m so pleased for Natalie and Simone,” said Mick.

“Every time Natalie comes into work after doing one of her many challenges we keep thinking she’ll say ‘never again’ but every time she does one it seems to spur her onto the next one.

“When we purchased the bikes for Natalie and Simone in 2013 we knew that they’d hit their target but to do so with a London to Paris ride for a charity like AMR is really doing it in style. I’m delighted for both of them.”

As parents, AMR is a charity close to both Natalie and Simone’s hearts. “AMR have pioneered, championed and supported so many things that we now take for granted as parents and it’s so important that people continue to help fund them,” said Natalie.

“During the 70’s and 80’s AMR supported projects to develop the use of ultrasound scans during pregnancy to detect early warning signs – which is now routine for every pregnant mother, they also supported research that established the importance of folic acid during pregnancy. We know that every penny we’ve raised with this ride can help more breakthroughs that will help mothers in the future.”

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