Support our Ambassador: CREATing a better future through cycling!

Community is at the forefront of what we do at CREATE Education! In fact, the C in CREATE stands for community! We want to give students, in the UK and Ireland, access to 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. We do this by supporting those that influence them the most – teachers and educators! We work closely with educators and have built great relationships with them, through our excellent knowledge of education and Additive Manufacturing.

Our CREATE Education Ambassadors are our links to the community, spreading the word about what we do for teachers. Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal at Cheshire College South and West, is one of our most proactive Ambassadors, so when he asked us to help him with his upcoming sponsored cycle there was no hesitation! 

The CREATE Education team caught up with Mark Parsons, at the first WorldSkills UK Regional Final hosted at Cheshire College South & West, one of the many things he has helped us with throughout the academic year. 

We spoke to Mark to understand the background of his bike ride and why the charity was close to his heart. Here is what Mark had to say:

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and what you do?

I am the Assistant Principal at Cheshire College South & West. I am in charge of Service Engineering. I originally started my career as a chef. I started teaching at 32 years old with the Principal, who has supported me in my career.

Tell us about your relationship with us at CREATE Education. 

I was first asked to be an Ambassador for CREATE Education who I have worked with over the last 4 years. I think CREATE Education is a brilliant company, they are also an inspirational company making a difference to education. 

Tell me about why you are cycling to support the MS charity this year? 

MS is very meaningful to me. As someone who has had ill health and also as someone who has worked very closely with people who suffer from MS. MS has no known cure or prevention. The money I will raise from the cycle will go directly to support those suffering from MS in the North West and their families and carers.

 

I want all the money raised to stay in the North West of England and be used for families and loved ones who have been through the unfortunate experience of having had someone with MS. It can be used as a support fund for them and will help them get through with the support needed

That’s fabulous! So, tell me more about the cycle ride itself…! 

The ride I am doing is called the North Coast 500. I am going to complete the ride with my 15 year old son, Jack. 

The ride starts in Inverness, which is in the Highlands of Scotland. It takes in the perimeter of the East and West coasts of Scotland including the most northern tip of the UK. It ends back where we started in Inverness after five days. It takes approximately 36,000 feet of climbing including 3 of the toughest climbs in the UK. 

We start the event on the  24th of July 2023, and it finishes after 5 days of cycling on the 28th of July 2023. The plan we have is to set off every morning by 9 am and be back by 5 pm. In that time, we hope to cover 100 miles a day. 

The total distance of the bike ride is 542 miles. We are going to stop every 30 miles for nutrition. My wife is going to be a big supporter and will be in a support vehicle supplying us with nutrition and hydration.

What inspired you to do all this?

I have done two charity bike rides so far, and these have raised £24,000 worth of money! I’d love to do the same for this special charity. 

Some of my past rides have included Newcastle to London in 24 hours! I have also done four lengths of the UK. Further, I have completed Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a cancer charity which was a seven day challenge. I also did this again but there and back for Hope House Children’s Hospice.

I suffered ill health one and a half years ago. This challenge is one final challenge to support others less fortunate than I have been. It is also to raise as much awareness as possible for an amazing charity. 

Why cycling? How did you get into that?

I have been cycling for 15 years and taught my son Jack to ride too. I have a super competitive nature, so cycling allows me to feed that! This event is the last large event that me and my son will be doing together as, now at 48, I believe I am slowing Jack down too much! 

Can you tell me how much you are aiming to raise in this cycle event?

We have set an amount of £3,000 that we want to hit as this will bring the total amount raised up to £12,000 and really go to helping the families. We have a page where you can donate and support us on our journey!  If you can donate towards this event, we would really appreciate it! 

That’s great – how else can we help and support you? 

Our Facebook page is ‘Mark and Jack NC 500 charity challenge for MS’. You can follow if you want to see documentation of training and the event as it happens which will be live streamed. Also my wife will be keeping updates on the journey as we go.

People can get in touch and donate too! 

CREATE Education have sponsored Mark’s cycle ride, helping him with the costs associated with such a challenge. This means all of the money raised can go directly to the charity. 

The story behind Mark doing this is very inspiring and also for a very meaningful and important cause. If you would like to make a donation, it would be greatly appreciated. You can access the Just Giving page by clicking this link.