Cyclists' 1,700-Mile Ride to Help Bulgaria's Needy
The Bristol Post
Two Bristol cyclists are preparing to ride 1,700 miles to Bulgaria.
GP Mark Corcoran and property director Richard Taylor will embark on the challenge next month to raise money to furnish and equip a medical centre in Sofia.
They got involved with the charity through their church, Cairns Road Baptist in Westbury Park, which has already raised about £2.5 million for Bulgarian Partners Trust over the course of 15 years.
Money raised through the 24-day trip will go towards a building that has gone up in Sofia to house a church, medical centre and education and advice services.
Mr Taylor, from Redland, said: "Bulgaria is one of the poorest countries in Europe. One in four households in Bulgaria live under the poverty line, and one in six people have no access to basic healthcare benefits – something that we take for granted in the UK."
Dr Corcoran, of Westbury Park, said: "The Bulgarian health system only covers half of the cost of medical services, which leaves medical care out of the reach of many people living in poverty. The church has responded to this need in the past by running dental, eye and health clinics using visiting clinicians and professionals from within their congregation."
Mr Taylor, 59, who has run half marathons for the cause, thought the cycle would be a good challenge ahead of his 60th birthday.
Dr Corcoran, who works at Christchurch Family Medical Centre and started cycling last year, will advise the team in Sofia about medical equipment.
The pair will set off from their church on September 26, head towards London, across to France and then through Strasbourg, Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade before arriving in Sofia.
Visit http://cyclingtosofia. wordpress.com for details, or see https://mydonate.bt.com/ fundraisers/cyclingtosofia to donate.
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