A DIRECTOR of a local education charity is saddling up for a 500-mile cycle – to raise enough money to repair its roof.

Bill Crook is taking on the challenge to help buy new tiles for Wiston Lodge, near Biggar.

The 65-year-old will leave Penrith in Cumbria tomorrow (Saturday) with a team of friends and aim to get to John O’Groats within seven days.

And the group hopes to fund at least one £3 slate for every mile it covers.

Bill told us: “I am really looking forward to the ride. It’s an interesting time of year for weather so that might be the biggest challenge, but we will be prepared for whatever comes our way.”

Edinburgh-based Bill is already a veteran of charity cycles, having raised £6,000 for Mary’s Meals by riding from Land’s End to the Shetlands.

But this time he will be supported by friends Trevor Bailey and Karen Farnan – who are aiming to average 65 miles per day.

And all have been training hard for the challenge.

Approximately 5,220 slates are needed for the main lodge’s porch roof and south block roof.

It is a century since any substantial repair work was done at the charity, which delivers residential and day programmes of outdoor education.

More than 85 per cent of the cash needed has already been donated and just over £11,000 more is needed for work to get going on the Victorian building.

Jonny Sutherland, Wiston Lodge’s managing director, added: “Bill is exactly what every charity wants from a director.

“On top of all his official responsibilities and inputs, Bill has pulled on his cycling shorts and dedicated his time and sweat to the cause of fixing our old roof.

“All the staff, volunteers and guests of Wiston Lodge wish him every success and hope that folks follow – and sponsor – his progress in his Mile a Tile challenge.”

To donate to Bill’s challenge, visit: www.wistonlodge.co.uk.