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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Watch Robin's charity ride


Last month Robin Lawler, CIH president, took on a fundraising cycle challenge for the Presidential Appeal and raised more than £11,000.

We caught up with Robin to find out how it all went but first take a look at the video from the ride which marked the big move of our conference and exhibition from Harrogate to Manchester.

This year’s Presidential Appeal charity is the Foyer Federation. Robin and former president Helen Collins chose the charity, which helps transform the lives of vulnerable young people by supporting them to secure good quality affordable housing.

Did you see the Foyer projects en route as planned?
We were lucky enough to see three great projects run by the federation and young people along our journey. First, we met a group of residents from Bradford Foyer at Bradford Youth Build who help under 25s with training and employment opportunities.

Later on we met up with LATCH (Leeds Action to Create Homes) who work with volunteers and young people to support homeless people. Then our final project visit was to see Muddy Buddies in Mossley which is a great scheme that encourages families to grow their own fruit and vegetables. It was great to see work with young people on the ground!

What kept you going through the torrential rain?

Saturday’s weather was not too bad but on Sunday is was torrential. Most of our route was along a canal path and there was as much water on the towpaths as in the canal! Thoughts of our sponsorship and the group camaraderie kept us pedalling. We had some great breaks which helped too, including a stop at a bakery in Slaithwaite and lunch with the Muddy Buddies.

What was your favourite part of the journey?
My favourite part of the journey was definitely when we got up to 40mph coming down from the top of the Pennines into Diggle. It was the highest point of our ride and it was a great feeling riding fast after the hard slog up to the top.

What was the worst part of the journey?
The rain made the towpaths very slippery from Huddersfield to Marsden and we nearly had riders in the canal on a few occasions.

Would you do it again?

This was my second time riding the route because I did a practice ride through when I was planning it. We’re already planning to ride the Pennine Cycleway in October - watch this space!

What’s your best cycling tip?

I had two punctures between Leeds and Bradford so my top tip would be to make sure you have puncture repair kit with you.

Have you set yourself your next challenge?
I’m cycling around 80 miles from Manchester to Blackpool on 8 July with New Charter riders.

How much did you raise?
I’ve raised £11,940 so far and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that supported us.

Presidential Appeal JustGiving page

Find out more about the Foyer Federation

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