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Highbury cyclist takes on 12-hour overnight challenge to fundraise to help homelessness

PUBLISHED: 15:31 19 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:31 19 October 2020

Mo cycled 160km overnight from 8pm to 8am. Picture: Submitted by Mo Maynard

Mo cycled 160km overnight from 8pm to 8am. Picture: Submitted by Mo Maynard

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An Islington woman pedalled through the night in a 12-hour cycling challenge to raise money for homeless young people.

Mo designed her overnight route around London to draw the outline of a cyclist on a bike. Picture: Submitted by Mo MaynardMo designed her overnight route around London to draw the outline of a cyclist on a bike. Picture: Submitted by Mo Maynard

Highbury local Mo Maynard cycled from 8pm on October 8 to 8am on October 9 in aid of Centrepoint as part of its Stay:Up event.

This replaced the charity’s annual Sleep Out, which involves participants going a night without sleep to raise money, but which could not take place during the coronavirus pandemic this year.

The 22-year-old designed her overnight route around London to draw the outline of a cyclist on a bike using GPS - any wrong turn would ruin the image.

She travelled 160km and raised £2,000 for the charity, which runs hostels around the country to support homeless young people into a job and a home.

Mo's route took her all over London. Picture: Submitted by Mo MaynardMo's route took her all over London. Picture: Submitted by Mo Maynard

READ MORE: Islington investigation into homeless deaths fed into a new book on the heartrending national picture

“I found it really tough,” Mo said. “What surprised me most was the mental challenge. It was almost impossible to keep alert when I was so cold and tired.

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“I had the luxury of warm clothes and food during the night which helped me keep going, but it made me think of those who don’t have these necessities to rely on.”

Centrepoint estimates 110,000 young people in the UK were homeless or at risk of homelessness in 2018/19.

Highbury's Mo Maynard cycled for 12 hours overnight on October 8 to 9. Picture: Submitted by Mo MaynardHighbury's Mo Maynard cycled for 12 hours overnight on October 8 to 9. Picture: Submitted by Mo Maynard

During the coronavirus pandemic the charity has already seen the number of people sleeping rough and calling its Helpline double.

Mo added: “Even before the coronavirus pandemic I started thinking about how less people are carrying cash so if someone on the streets needs help, they are less likely to be able to give them anything.

“Now with the pandemic, I noticed that homelessness is on the rise. We’re really lucky to have charities like Centrepoint to provide a safety net for vulnerable people.”

The Centrepoint Helpline is available to anyone aged between 16 to 25 who is worried about homelessness. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0808 800 0661.

Mo raised £2,000 for Centrepoint. Picture: Submitted by Mo MaynardMo raised £2,000 for Centrepoint. Picture: Submitted by Mo Maynard

As part of the Centrepoint Stay:Up event, EastEnders actress Lisa Maxwell and pop band The Vamps appeared on Centrepoint’s Instagram overnight.

Donate to Mo’s fundraiser at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stayupindividual-morwennamaynard

Find out more about Centrepoint athttps://centrepoint.org.uk/


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