Winchester College pupils will set off on static bikes today (June 18), raising money to buy an ambulance to send to Ukraine.

The boys from Winchester will cycle in 20-minute shifts over the course of the day, collectively cycling the distance from London to Lviv (a city in Western Ukraine) in support of the EmbraceMe Foundation.

Those participating hope they can raise the £8000 needed to cover the cost of a large ambulance to send to Ukraine.

This money would enable the charity to purchase a front-line equipped ambulance, providing aid to the civilians affected by the ongoing attacks. The ambulance would help to prevent more fatalities by supplying critical and urgent treatment.

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Third year student Jamie Mackinnon is one of the boys taking on the challenge and a member of Winchester’s Charities Committee. He said: “Within our school community, we have friends who have been directly impacted by the situation in Ukraine and we were as shocked as everyone else to hear the news reports of so many civilian casualties, including children.

"Earlier in the year, a group of staff and students from the College did a sponsored walk, raising thousands of pounds for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal. As a Charities Committee, we knew that more support was needed and thought that raising money for something tangible would help increase engagement in our campaign. When we saw photos of ambulances destroyed on city streets in Ukraine, we knew what we wanted to do. Fundraising for a new ambulance that will serve people in need directly is something everyone can get behind. We are expecting 300 people to be cycling on Saturday and we hope many more will show their support by making a donation.”

The charitable cyclists will form part of Wyekham Day on Saturday. The college’s largest event, previously known as Winchester Match, welcomes back everyone from the college community for a day of sporting contests, musical performances and cultural exhibitions.

The bikes will be set up outside the sports centre with a screen showing information about the total distance covered towards the overall goal. Books will also be sold on the day with all proceeds going toward the EmbraceMe Foundation.

The EmbraceMe Foundation provides humanitarian support on the ground in Ukraine and relief to its refugees abroad.

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