A GROUP of cyclists have today began pedalling their way on an incredible journey that spans across 12 countries – to raise money for charity.

The 18 intrepid cyclists, with an average age of 54, are from all around the UK and work within the fenestration industry.

They are taking part in the mammoth ride to fundraise for Oswestry's Hope House – the nominated charity of GM Fundraising, which regularly raises money for the charity and organised the ride.

From Russia with Hope (FRWH) will be the last major challenge of GM Fundraising and it promises to be the hardest yet with 12 countries, 2,780 miles and 34,000ft of climbing to be tackled in just 10 days.

Gary Morton, GM Fundraising founder and FRWH cyclist, said: "This is our final cycling challenge and promises to be the hardest ride we’ve ever done.

"As such, we want to raise our biggest total yet – Border2Border our last ride in 2016 – raised £195,766.92 for Hope House and we’re aiming to beat this, so if you haven’t made a donation, please consider doing so – the cause is so worthwhile.

"As you’d expect, every ride has got tougher and tougher and From Russia With Hope is raising the bar once again.

"The 18 riders will be covering more than 280 miles each day as they cycle from the Russia border, through Finland, into the Arctic Circle, through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, England and Wales – before returning to England to reach their final destination of Hope House in Oswestry."

"The support we receive throughout these rides really helps us keep momentum and the power we need to keep going day-in-day-out," Gary added.

"Please help us beat our last ride total and really make a difference to the children and families at Hope House and Ty Gobaith

Alison Marsh, head of fundraising at Hope House, said: "Sadly, every week, three local families face their biggest fear and their child dies.

"Hope House cannot stop children dying but we can stop families suffering on their own.

"When they are facing the most devastating loss of their lives we must be there – we need to reach every child, mum, dad, sister and brother and to do this we need to raise more money so we can offer even more services.

"That’s why it’s so important we have as much help as possible from groups like GM Fundraising. We can’t thank the team enough for everything they do for Hope House and we wish them a safe cycle."

Catrin Dowdeswell, fundraiser for Hope House, added: "GM Fundraising have been doing fundraising for 15 years for Hope House – completing these amazing feats for us.

"They raise around £130,000 a year for our charity."

You can follow the team's progress on GM Fundraising on Facebook or by following @gmfundraising on Twitter, with the hashtag #FRWHope being used for regular updates until the final destination, Hope House is reached on Saturday, June 22.

Each member has their own dedicated fundraising page for donations which can be found on justgiving.com/teams/frwhope

"Please give what you can, it makes a huge difference," Gary added.

For more information visit gmfundraising.co.uk/fromrussiawithhope