Thomas setting off on his bike ride at Land's End

13 June 2023

Cycling from the very south of the UK to the northernmost point is no easy feat. In this blog, former academic Thomas explains why he wanted to take on the Land’s End to John o’ Groats challenge to raise funds for STAR – and what he hopes to see along the way. You can donate and follow his journey on his JustGiving page

It’s often seen as the ultimate cycle challenge in these islands: a journey of almost 1,000 miles from the headland of Land’s End in Cornwall to John o’ Groats in the far north of Scotland. I’m undertaking this challenge to support STAR’s vital work, and to explore new parts of the country in which I have lived for most of my life along the way.

Not everybody has the chance to live their life in the place where they were born or of their choosing. I want to support STAR in the work they do extending a welcome to those seeking asylum and refugees.

I especially value STAR’s efforts to encourage sponsorship and scholarships within the university sector in this country for those who have had to flee their homelands in the most distressing circumstances. 

As a former academic, I know how important it is to offer opportunities to continue education among students who have arrived here unexpectedly. I also know that those of us already here also gain so much from such a gesture. We discover the values embedded in other cultures from which we can learn; we come to gain a better understanding of our own place as a country in the world; and we have the opportunity to demonstrate the best that this country can offer to the world.

So, for the next three weeks, I will be winding my way up the length of the UK. I’m aiming to finish by the 29th June. You can see my planned route below and follow updates on my JustGiving page. (If you happen to be near any of these pitstops – let the STAR team know!)

Thomas’s route from Land’s End to John o’ Groats


I should also mention that I have a personal connection to STAR’s work. My daughter, Siobhán, works for STAR. I am very proud that she does.

I hope you will sponsor me on this ride so that all those at STAR can continue their valuable work.

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