Chris swann's off for charity

The Tour de France may be over for another year, but one Town Hall Symphony Hall team member is preparing to set the wheels in motion for his very own gruelling 820 mile cycle ride across the French countryside this summer, raising funds for a Birmingham charity in the process.

Intrepid cyclist Chris Swann volunteers regularly with SIFA Fireside working to address homelessness and alcohol abuse in the city via a drop in centre which serves breakfast and lunch and offers services such as counselling, housing support and signposting to other agencies.

The 27 year old will be starting from Santander in northern Spain on 25 September before heading across to south-western France. Over two weeks Chris will cycle to Caen in the north, then cross the English Channel by ferry to make his way back to Birmingham from the south coast.

Chris will be travelling on his trusty bicycle carrying maps and camping equipment for overnight stays during the journey and has recently taken French language classes to reduce his chances of getting lost on the continent.

Follow Chris? progress via his Cycle for SIFA Fireside blog which will be updated regularly during his journey throughout Spain, France and the UK.

?I’m nervous”, Chris says, “but I?m also really looking forward to the challenge. I?ve seen firsthand the work and energy which goes on at SIFA – from befriending service users to recruiting new volunteers. Helping to raise funds and awareness for such a worthy cause is an absolute honour for me.?

Sponsor Chris online via his Just Giving site