When it comes to suggestions for how to celebrate your 40th birthday, not many would choose a 440 mile bike ride from London to Edinburgh.

But that’s exactly how Hull businessman Iain Bland has marked the milestone occasion, pledging to get on his bike and raise funds for families in need of a well earned break. 

Mr Bland, Managing Director of Paragon Data Services, has long been a supporter of Hull based charity The Smile Foundation. His company has supported the charity in providing Audio Visual equipment for its highly successful Devil’s Kitchen events, helping it become a huge hit and branch out nationwide.

Now, Mr Bland has agreed to mark the milestone of reaching his 40th birthday and supporting 40 Devil’s Kitchen events, to raise funds for Smile’s latest charity project. Smile by the Sea will see funds raised to provide short holiday breaks for East Yorkshire families in need and Iain has agreed to get on his bike with Smile’s fundraising manager Andy Barber to cycle the length of the country as the first event to raise cash for the new charity; “Here at Paragon we have always believed in investing in our community to help make it stronger and working with The Smile Foundation has been incredibly rewarding” said Mr Bland “We were celebrating the fact we had supported 40 Devil’s Kitchen events and my 40th birthday, when Andy suggested this bike ride. I’m not sure how he convinced me, but we have been delighted with our partnership with Smile, and of course the success of Devil’s Kitchen and are fully committed to continuing our partnership and supporting new projects. We are particularly excited by this latest project to help give families breaks they deserve” 

From this summer Smile by the Sea will provide breaks for people from East Yorkshire who find themselves facing difficult times through illness, bereavement or disability. It will allow registered charities to refer families or individuals for a break, provided by Smile, at a time when they need it most, at no cost to themselves. It will provide breaks ranging from quiet getaways for couples or families facing the challenge of living with a loved one dealing with dementia, to fun-filled trips to the seaside with fish and chips and ice creams for ill youngsters. “The idea is simply to take away their worry and concern for just a few days and create lasting happy memories” said Mr Barber. “We will be working closely with Paragon on the continued development of our events, but I thought it best to help celebrate Iain’s 40th birthday with a short 440 mile bike ride from London to Edinburgh. Paragon Data Services have been a rock for us with the Devil’s Kitchen events and we are delighted to have their ongoing support”

Andy and Ian will stage their fundraising bike ride between 4th – 8th June – if you would like to make a donation and support Iain then please click the link below to show your support – any amount would be greatly appreciated!!

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