A courageous fundraiser is taking on an epic cycling challenge, at the age of 70, to raise money for an autism charity based in Hermitage which supports his two stepsons.

elderly man sits on a bike facing the camera. He is in a white t-shirt with Priors Courts logo onReverend Phil White, who now lives in Leicester, is taking on an incredible 420-mile cycle through Northern Spain from Bilbao to Santiago along the historic pilgrimage route, the Camino Del Norte.

The challenge will take place from Tuesday, 29 August to Wednesday, 13 September.

The Revd Phil has decided to raise money for Prior’s Court not only because of his family connections, but for all the young people with complex autism supported by the charity. Prior’s Court relies on kind sponsors like The Revd Phil to raise money to provide additional outdoor pursuits – among other things – to enrich the lives of the young people who live at the charity’s 50-acre site in Hermitage.

He has never done anything like this before, though he has undertaken long distance walks in the past.

The Revd Phil, who lives in Leicester, said: “I am currently in remission from Type-2 diabetes and started on a Type-2 remission challenge in May 2021, leading to me buying an e-bike in 2022 and this is what started me on my fitness journey.

I’m really looking forward to enjoying the challenge and beauty of the famous Camino. An important motivation will be in raising funds for Prior’s Court Foundation in its amazing work with young people with complex autism. Whilst I’m enjoying the outdoors of Northern ‘green’ Spain, the motivation will be to support the young people enjoying outdoor equipment and activities for themselves.

Exploring what a pilgrimage can mean was also a motivation in this post-retirement challenge.”

The Revd Phil also has a number of supporters helping him on his journey. Bleasby CofE Primary School in Bleasby, near Southwell will be cheering him on his journey and will be matching his mileage in their own sponsored cycling event around Bleasby to support his fundraising. Also following his progress are bike retailer Velospeed, where he got his ‘Moustache’ e-bike. They have also supported him on his way with a generous donation.

You can follow his progress or donate on his JustGiving page