Azets Birmingham’s tax partner, Ray Abercromby, completed a 1,000-mile venture, from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of The Pebbles Project Trust, a charity based in South Africa that supports children impacted by poverty in The Winelands.
Being a wine lover, Ray chose to raise money for The Pebbles Project, a charity that was originally set up to help children who were born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a preventable birth defect caused by a woman consuming alcohol during her pregnancy, one of the consequences of the wine farms historically part-paying their workers in wine.
The charity has played a huge part in helping to reduce FAS and has evolved to support and educate children impacted by the lack of access to essential services in the Winelands region of South Africa. Inspired by his visit to the creches, medical centres and schools run by The Pebbles Project, Ray is now a director of the charity, and set up a UK affiliate of the main South African charity in 2007.
The cycle saw him visit six of the Azets offices, including Truro, Plymouth, Monmouth, Shrewsbury, Bolton and Glasgow. He started from the Cornish peninsula on 4th September and reached John O’Groats, after cycling for over 78 hours and covering 1,032 miles, on Saturday 17th September. With over 60,000 feet climbed, he burnt over 40,000 calories, and also finished the ride on a different bike after a bad crash with another rider in Glasgow. So far, the total amount Ray has raised sits at £8,221, over half of his target. The funds from Ray’s ride will go towards purchasing a new classroom to accommodate the increased pupil numbers expected at the Pebbles Academy in 2023.
Commenting on the ride, Ray Abercromby said: “Like me, most people probably have an appreciation of wine, but the less-known side of wine farming and the people affected by poverty, is often flown under the radar. Having visited The Winelands region of South Africa, it felt important to me to open my eyes and support a cause which is close to my heart.
It’s been very heart-warming to have had such encouragement from across the Azets network and visiting the offices on my way gave me motivation through the lowest of lows.”
Sophia Warner, CEO at The Pebbles Project Trust, added: “Having Ray as an advocate for the charity is wonderful and we are so proud of what he has achieved. Ray has watched Pebbles grow from a tiny charity into a substantial organisation offering education programmes and health and nutrition services to over 1,400 children in seven geographical areas of the Western Cape. The funds raised from Ray’s cycle ride will be used to purchase a new classroom building to enable 30 more children to access a quality education at our Pebbles Academy in Hermanus. Thank you to Ray from the Pebbles children.”
For those interested in supporting Ray’s mission for The Pebbles Project, the link to donate is: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ray-abercromby.