ON the anniversary of Bastille Day, Sue Dunmore will pedal her way into Paris as part of a virtual fundraiser for the Volunteer Centre Swindon.

The chief executive officer is today completing the final leg of her 372-mile virtual cycle ride from her office in Swindon to the Arc de Triomphe.

Using an exercise bike in her home in Chiseldon, Sue, who has been working from home since the coronavirus pandemic, has replaced her usual bus ride commute with a six miles cycle each day.

“It’s actually been a really fun challenge,” said Sue.

“I saw online lots of people doing their own fundraising events during lockdown and just thought what could I do?” she said.

Having set off on May 8, Sue is asking for donations to support the Volunteer Centre, which has lost around £5,000 due to the pandemic.

“We’ve seen a drop in our income, and because we’ve not been able to deliver on contracts,” she said.

“A lot of other charities can be cuddly causes or things people can easily associate with, whereas the infrastructure behind volunteering is not something that is on everybody’s radar, or something they necessarily think of as a cause to support,” she said.

The organisation has also seen an increase in demand for its services.

“We’re working with charities who have been struggling with their volunteers throughout the pandemic as well as had a massive increase in people who have time on their hands, wanting to volunteer.

She added: “It’s going to be challenging times for the charity sector in the foreseeable future.

“I think people have become more engaged with their communities and wanting to help out, but where people would have made donations in the past, if they have now perhaps been furloughed and are at risk of redundancy themselves they’re going to tighten their belts.

“And potential corporate partners who are going through difficulties too, charity support is not going to be their top priority,” said Sue.

She is hoping to raise £600 for the cause


“We work with over 300 charities and community groups.

“Any donations would be very welcome,” Sue said.

To donate visit donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/sue-virtual-ride-to-paris