Eaton & Cringleford

Stephen’s cycling round the block – for 1,600km

Just Regional
May 5, 2020 3 mins read

The extra emphasis on handwashing during the covid-19 pandemic gave an Eaton schoolboy an idea to raise money to keep people safe and healthy in Kenya.

Stephen Cooke in scout uniform from last years Remembrance Day commemoration.

Stephen Cooke is completing a 1,600km sponsored cycle ride around his home area to raise money for Friends of Kipkelion and Brighter Communities Worldwide to support the work they are doing in Kenya.

“Since the outbreak of covid-19 we have been reminded of the importance of good handwashing. This is something we often take for granted, but it is not so easy for the communities around the world that don’t have running water,” said Stephen, 13, on his fundraising page.

“Friends of Kipkelion help people in Kipkelion, Kenya, to have clean water and healthy lives. They do this with their partners Brighter Communities Worldwide who have a team of staff and volunteers in Kenya. My mum knows one of the founders of this Irish charity through the Girl Guides and I have been reading about how they are showing people how to prevent the spread of covid-19.”

The charity is aiming to provide soap to 50,000 households, water containers with taps to 165 health facilities, training for health workers and isolation beds and equipment for hospitals.

Boxes of soap are unloaded, a boy uses a “tippy tappy” to wash his hands and groups of villagers are told how to wash their hands correctly and how to practise social distancing and cough etiquette.

Stephen, who goes to Notre Dame High School and is a scout with the 17th Norwich troop, based in Sprowston, added: “I should have been attending the European Scout Jamboree in Poland in July 2020 but it has been postponed due to covid-19. I want to turn my disappointment into something positive, so I am going to cycle the total distance from Norwich to Gdansk (as the crow flies) … That’s 1,160km.

“There is a 5k route around my local area and I have been cycling this every day keeping within government advice for social distancing. I will complete this challenge 5k at a time – just like in Kenya where they are teaching five people at a time to fight covid-19. I would like to raise £1 for every km I cycle.”

To boost his total, you can visit his fundraising page here: 

Stephen’s progress so far… he wants to cycle the equivalent distance from Norwich to Gdansk.

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