Earlier this year, L’Arche launched an emergency appeal to support L’Arche communities in the Ukraine who were affected by the invasion. Many people reached out to offer practical and financial support to the appeal, and one of these was keen cyclist, Tim Chapman.  

Since the invasion, L’Arche has been working with refugees with disabilities from seven communities in Poland and Lithuania. We also support more than 60 people with disabilities and their families who are currently unable to leave Ukraine. 

From 12th to 24th June, Tim cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, a distance of some 1000 miles, to help raise vital funds to support L’Arche Ukraine. Tim said “this was the hardest physical challenge that I have ever taken, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to raise funds for L’Arche Ukraine to support some of the most vulnerable people impacted by the war”. 

The 1,000 mile (1,600 km), 12 day journey up the United Kingdom from the very bottom of the south-west to the very top of the north-east, was for Tim a journey of discovery in many ways.  During his 12 days in the saddle, he enjoyed the beauty and accessibility of England and Scotland along the safe cycle routes, away from the major roads. He was also impressed with the widespread support for Ukraine, demonstrated by the blue and yellow flags flying in so many places. 

Attached to my saddle bag for the entire journey was a small wooden Ukraingel, made in L’Arche Ukraine.  This lovely hand-painted wooden angel was a constant reminder of the L’Arche community in Ukraine. 

As Tim powered his way up the brutal hill climbs of Cornwall and Devon, he enjoyed the mutual support, and good humour of his fellow long-distance cyclists and made deep friendships along the way.

Thanks to some very generous donations, Tim has raised £5,700 so far, which is a tremendous achievement and one which will make a real difference to L’Arche communities in Ukraine.

You can support Tim's challenge here