ACCOUNTANCY staff will ditch their calculators and turn to crunching road miles instead as they take on the Brighter Futures Bike Ride on June 10.

A team consisting of receptionists, accountants and a director from local firm Ross Brooke is hoping to smash its £1000 fundraising target to bolster services at the Great Western Hospital.

Trainee accountant Emma Johnson said: "Ross Brooke has chosen to support Brighter Futures as it's a charity close to home for many of the employees in the Swindon office. Initially we chose the charity as it would give back to the community as well as combine the aspect of keeping fit. Sitting in an office desk for eight hours a day is not good for you."

Some members of staff are motivated to help the charity because they have personal experience with cancer. Lisa Hobbs is thankful for the hospital's efforts in supporting her mother through cancer treatment. She said: "The staff in the Dove Ward were absolutely amazing. It was such a shock to us all and having the support of the nurses through the first session of chemo helped so much. My mum has been so brave."

Lisa is part of a five-strong team preparing to tackle the 20-mile route across Wiltshire which is packed with challenging hills and scenic views. Brighter Futures has organised photography, food stations, and medals for riders competing in all three distances on offer, with the most taxing course set at 70 miles.

Emma Johnson said: "At first we were feeling confident about the bike ride, however after the route was published online we are all feeling a bit apprehensive. Many of us haven’t ridden a bike for years and some of us are yet to even own a bike!"

But she felt assured the team would overcome these difficulties: "I have every confidence that the Ross Brooke team will do well. The team consists of driven individuals who participate with the best ability they can. There is a huge sense of camaraderie about the group as by seeing each other every day we are more like a family unit."

So far the team has raised over £500 through generation donations from friends and family, some of whom are dealing with the effects of cancer. Brighter Futures relies on fundraisers to support its projects, which include medical research, hospital staff training, and investment in state-of-the-art equipment to bring a range of care to the town.

Its Radiotherapy Appeal launched in 2015 and recently passed the £2.2 million fundraising mark. The charity needs a further £700,000 to equip a new radiotherapy unit with technology that targets cancer tumours. Once in place at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon patients will no longer have to travel to Oxford to receive radiotherapy.

To sponsor Ross Brooke staff in their efforts, visit: