TEACHERS tackled a punishing 126km ride in blazing sun to raise more than £2,000 to help pupils suffering as a result of the rising cost of living.

Seven current and former members of staff from Acorn Education Trust completed the Tour D’Acorn.

Jeremy Bowman, Nick Bloxham, David Cade, Steve Clark, Joe Kendrick, Rob Price and Sam Worsfold all represented different Acorn Education Trust schools and had first hand experience of the hardship many of their pupils and families have been facing.

Clarendon Academy head Dave Cade said: “We know things are pretty tough at the moment. It has been an honour to be part of this team and to have completed this challenge to assist those in need so they don’t feel left out.”

The cyclists set off from West Ashton Cof E Primary School at 5:30am, to make the most of the cooler temperatures.

They then cycled through the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, stopping off at each of the trust’s 17 schools, from Rowde, Devizes and Durrington to Great Wishford, Warminster and Westbury.

Refreshment pit stops were provided along the route, with additional members of staff coming out to provide encouragement to the cyclists .

Organiser Jeremy Bowman, an academy council member at West Ashton, said: “It was a treat to cycle with a group of riders who were all obviously much more capable than I.

"But the sense of being a team, and battling the heat together, got us all to the finish in one piece!”

“I really hope this becomes a regular event in the Acorn calendar, and that tales of our exploits, and the support and assistance we received along the way, reaches all corners of the trust and further afield. It would be wonderful to inspire others to achieve their own goals and even maybe to join in our next adventure."

The team reached their final destination, Clarendon Academy in Trowbridge, at 1:31pm, seven minutes ahead of schedule.

Rob Price, Secondary Executive Head and Tour D’Acorn cyclist, said: “I’m really proud of what we achieved as a team this weekend and want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated to this wonderful cause and supported the team during this cycle.”

Money raised will go towards uniform, school supplies and support for extra-curricular activities for pupils and their families who are facing increased financial hardship.