Using words by Marcus Roberts, Team Leader at our Notting Hill Farmshop, and Will Dennis, our London Regional Operations Manager and General Manager of our Pimlico Farmshop. Marcus and Will were joined by Will Shaw, of our Notting Hill farmshop, who is a Daylesford Sustainability Champion.

Last week, Marcus Roberts, Will Dennis and Will Shaw, of our London farmshops, went on the adventure of a lifetime, flying to Croatia to cycle 300 miles from Zagreb to Split. Organised by Quintessentially Foundation, the event is the 11th annual charity bike ride and this year was in aid of The Felix Project. As a Volunteer Ambassador for The Felix Project, Marcus persuaded Will Dennis and Will Shaw to join him for the event and raise funds for the charity.

Working in our Notting Hill farmshop, Marcus has become good friends with many regular customers and locals, including the British fashion designer Julien Macdonald. After spreading the word about his upcoming charity bike ride to his customers, Marcus persuaded Julien to join them on the trip, and on Wednesday 26th June they flew with a team of 55 other cyclists to begin their journey in Croatia. Faced with 45 degree heat in Europe’s strongest heatwave for decades, as well as gruelling terrain and exhaustion, they embarked on the challenge of a lifetime.

As you may already know, The Felix Project is our chosen charity. Their mission is to fight food waste and help homeless people in each of our farmshops’ local areas, with the idea that no one should have to miss a meal. We take great pride in being a zero food waste company and are proud to support The Felix Project for this great cause. For every £1 donated, their team of volunteers is able to rescue and redistribute £5 worth of surplus food, and we are very proud to share that Marcus, Will and Will collectively raised over £40,000, meaning The Felix Project can now redistribute £200,000 of surplus food to those in need, whilst the total amount raised by their group was upwards of £400,000. A fantastic effort for a truly worthwhile cause.

Below, Marcus and Will give us an account of their trip.

Marcus Roberts
Team Leader, Notting Hill farmshop; Daylesford Sustainability Ambassador; Volunteer Ambassador for The Felix Project

On the cycling route:
“It was an extremely difficult route, with massive hills to climb and some seriously scary descents. One of the most experienced cyclists came flying off his bike on day two and dislocated his shoulder. This absolutely terrified me and made me want to give up! But I cast those fears aside and carried on. This was all for The Felix Project and I would do absolutely anything to support them.”

Trip highs and lows:
Over the course of the trip the group really bonded together and they formed friendships through their mutual love of cycling and passion to support The Felix Project… As the days wore on and the heat intensified, it became more difficult and exhausting to get back on our bikes and carry on each day. But we did, and one of the greatest things about going on this adventure is that it made me realise that when you push yourself to your ultimate limit, you find inner reserves of strength that you didn’t know you had… I have never felt more alive in my life.”

On the fundraising:
“Special thanks to Lord and Lady Bamford for their consistent and incredibly generous support and to all of our regular Daylesford customers who have taken the time to get involved and sponsor us. We raised over £10,000 from our Notting Hill farmshop alone.”

Will Dennis
London Regional Operations Manager; General Manager, Pimlico Farmshop; Daylesford Sustainability Ambassador

Recalling the bike ride:
“The ride was incredibly tough, not only because we were in the saddle for over 8 hours every day over hilly terrain, but also due to the intense European heatwave! Cycling 300 miles is a huge challenge in itself, but in 40C+ temperatures it is an even bigger achievement. The last day was the hardest as each kilometre seemed to take longer than it should and my muscles were giving up, one by one.”

On The Felix Project:
“I signed up for the Quintessentially Bike Ride following my first shift volunteering for The Felix Project. It is such a fantastic charity and I wanted to contribute to the fundraising effort… Our group generated over £400,000 collectively which will be enough to fully fund The Felix Project’s central London operations for the next 2 years.”

On completing the challenge:
“The feeling of crossing the finish line on the beach at Split to tumultuous applause and a cold beer still gives me goosebumps… I am extremely proud to have ridden every mile and have made some friends for life, too.”

If you want to donate, you can support The Felix Project via their website – thefelixproject.org.