A TRIO who cycled from Darwen Tower to the Eiffel Tower last year to raise charity cash has launched a new community interest company.

Having raised £8,437 for local charities, Paul Maher, Emma McNally and Rebecca Winser set up Cycle Roots to continue their charitable work.

It means the trio, who raised the money for Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service and Blackburn Foodbank last year, collect unused or unloved bicycles and either repair them to sell or recycle them for parts.

Emma said: “We are a not for profit organisation that collects free of charge unused or unloved bicycles and either repair to a sellable standard or recycle parts for other bikes.

“We engage unemployed residents as volunteers and trainees, building skills, knowledge, and confidence which in turn will enhance employability.While doing this, we improve social inclusion by selling bicycles at low prices to low income families and promote bicycling and improve health and wellbeing in Blackburn with Darwen.

“This has a positive impact on the environment by both reducing waste going to landfill and providing sustainable transport to help reduce carbon emissions. However, to provide outreach services to residents of the borough, and to collect donations of bicycles and parts, we require the appropriate transport for this and are calling on all to help us raise the funds for this.”

As part of the team’s fundraising efforts, they will embark on a second ‘Tower to Tower’ challenge later this month, from Darwen to the Tower of London. They will split the cash raised between Cycle Roots and Rock FM’s Cash For Kids appeal, which helps disabled and disadvantaged children across Lancashire. Also taking part in the bike ride will be the founders of another community interest company, Caroline Fotios and Rachel Rhodes, who recycle donated school uniforms.