Pedal power promises to open doors to education

23 Aug 2012 09:42:57.023

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A team from The University of Nottingham is to embark on a 1,100 mile fundraising cycle to widen access to higher education for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Life Cycle 2 team, led by Vice-Chancellor Professor David Greenaway, will pedal the length of the country from Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point of Scotland, to Dover on the south-east coast of England.

The two-week trip, from Friday 24 August to Thursday 6 September, is raising money for Nottingham Potential, one of the University’s key priorities.

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£250,000 target

The aim is to raise £250,000 for the creation of a high-profile pathway to higher education for the most deprived young people. Working alongside education charity IntoUniversity, the scheme will provide long-term support for young people who want to go on to further and higher education. 

Professor Greenaway said: “Nottingham Potential is all about widening participation, raising aspirations and supporting achievement so that even more capable young people from under-represented backgrounds in Nottingham, across the East Midlands and more widely can reach their academic potential. We want to ensure that financial concerns do not limit the ambition of those with the ability to achieve academic excellence.”

The money raised will provide opportunities and funding for young people through bursaries and scholarships, primary and secondary school initiatives, and programmes designed to introduce young people to higher education.

The lead corporate supporters for the ride are Lucozade and Gleeds. Other major supporters include Santander Universities and UPP.

Last year’s cycle

Last year’s Life Cycle, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, raised in excess of £230,000 for the Sue Ryder Care Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care.

This year over £170,000, including Gift Aid, has already been raised. Professor Greenaway believes the cycle and Nottingham Potential will significantly expand the University’s £8million annual commitment to widening participation.

He said: “Nottingham Life Cycle 2 will make a huge impact on increasing awareness and funds for educationally disadvantaged young people but is only one part of our on-going pledge to widen participation and raise aspirations across the region.”

Getting personal

Professor Greenaway has an obvious reason for championing this cause as he knows the true value of a university education.

He said: “Having come from an area of serious social deprivation in the east end of Glasgow and being the first member of my family to go to university, I have a very personal appreciation of the importance of improving access to higher education. That’s why we’re doing all we can to identify, encourage and nurture talented young people – whatever their backgrounds.

“Education has the power to transform lives and the more resource we can generate for bursaries and outreach activity, the bigger the impact we can have.”

Join in – whatever your fitness level

Members of the public will have the opportunity to get involved on Sunday 2 September. There will be three free community events to mark the riders’ arrival in Nottingham – and there’s something to suit all ages, abilities and fitness levels.

More information about the ride can now be found on the Life Cycle 2 website or on Twitter via @UoNLifeCycle. The Vice-Chancellor will be blogging throughout the cycle on the Nottingham Life Cycle blog.

Along the route, the team will be stopping over in Durness, Inchnadamph, Inchbae, Spean Bridge, Cairndow, Kilmarnock, Annan, Kirkby Lonsdale, Wetherby, Lincoln, Nottingham, Banbury, Winchester, Eastbourne and Dover.

Before setting off each morning the team will meet members of the local press and pose for photos. For timings or to arrange interviews, members of the press should email

Ends —

More information is available from Kelly Newman, Corporate Marketing Manager, at , Corporate Marketing Manager, at; alternatively contact Harry Waddle, Student Communications Officer, on +44 (0)115 823 2353 or at

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Life Cycle 2: The money raised by the Life Cycle 2 project will go towards the Nottingham Potential strand of Impact: The Nottingham Campaign. Nottingham Potential aims to raise aspirations and support achievement by working with young people, teachers, schools and colleges in Nottingham and the East Midlands.

The University commits £8 million a year to widening participation. Nottingham Potential will build on this to significantly expand the University’s commitment over the next five years.

The full list of riders taking part is:

Story credits

More information is available from Kelly Newman, Corporate Marketing Manager, The University of Nottingham, or +44 (0)115 82 32346

Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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