Helen Whitby Cycles for Kids (Phenomenex UK)

When I came back to work briefly in June to begin a few catch-up days, I was asked if I’d like to step in for an injured colleague participating in the London to Paris Cycling Challenge. I suspect they knew I wouldn’t be able to say no! There was just one problem: my eldest daughter’s 5th birthday is the day the ride begins.


Luckily, my daughter wasn’t disappointed—it was she, along with my other half, who convinced me to accept the challenge. Now, as I’m avidly trying to train in the 12 remaining weeks before the event, my almost-5-year-old has taken an interest in cycling herself! She is such a fun kid who understands the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and constantly wants to exercise with Mummy and Daddy.


I’ve been a competitive runner for almost 15 years now. Since having children, however, I’ve taken up more cycling—even taking part in the same London to Paris challenge a few years ago as part of a charity initiative with Leicester University. I’m not sure I’m quite up to 85 miles per day yet, but I am hoping my fitness background and a few more long training rides will get me there!

I will be raising money for the Outward Bound Trust because providing opportunities for young people means so much to my family and me. My partner has a company which organizes running events—anything from 5ks to half-marathons—and including our local community on these days is extremely important to us. At our last 10k, we had the local primary school children handing out medals to runners as they crossed the finish line. A large group of parents raising children with learning difficulties assisted at beverage stations.

As a family, we believe that offering a helping hand to those less fortunate is an incredibly productive way to help make a change—particularly to families raising children in less opportunistic areas of the country. I feel that The Outward Bound Trust reflects a similar philosophy, and I’m more than happy to support that.

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