FUNDRAISING cyclists had to grin and bear an eight-mile challenge to play their part in a national charity event.

Staff from the Bolton Interchange site team, comprising volunteers from Transport for Greater Manchester and contractors Kier Construction, saddled up for the ride on Thursday night, accompanied by furry mascot, Kier Bear.

The event, which saw the team reach Kier’s offices in Hindley Green in just 40 minutes, was organised as part of the firm's ‘Where’s the Bear 2016 10k’ scheme.

Each site across the UK is challenged to raise £500 as well as getting the bear safely to its next destination, with the overall fundraising target for the event set at £10,000.

Andy Raw, project control engineer for TfGM, said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the event, which not only raised money for charity, but was also an excellent way to build team spirit, achieve something and raise the profile of the Bolton Interchange project.

“If I’m being honest, there were one or two occasions where I would have liked to swap places with Kier Bear, but I’m delighted we were able to complete the challenge and chalk some miles off the national target.”

Money raised from this leg of the challenge will be split between TfGM’s nominated charities, the Samaritans and Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research, and The Kier Foundation.

Antony Tetlow, project director for Kier, said: “We’re really proud of this year’s ‘Where’s the Bear’ challenge and are thrilled that TfGM got involved. The team’s outstanding efforts and enthusiasm have helped raise some much-needed funds for charities close to our hearts.”

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