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  • 03/09/06
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George Ruston, manager of Park Road Baptist FC, has achieved his target of cycling 100 miles in one day in aid of THIRST FOR LIFE 2007. Despite four marathon rides in aid of Hope UK, George had never before cracked the 100-miles-in-a-day barrier....

The first THIRST FOR LIFE campaign was held in the Lent period of 2006 and challenged individuals to express their concern about binge drinking (and check out their own attitudes towards drink) by going alcohol-free for 40 days.

"THIRST FOR LIFE 2006 was great" George says "but we want to see more young people thinking about their drinking. Something has to be done. It's not acceptable that as many as 1.3 million children in England are suffering because of their parents' drinking, or that we are seeing a rise in drink-related illness."

Next year's campaign will cost at least £100,000 and George wants THIRST FOR LIFE 2007 to be a stepping stone to 2008. "Sadly," he says "there is so much to do that a two-year approach is vital."

THIRST FOR LIFE is jointly organised by Hope UK and the SJI Emerging Culture team. They now want to build partnerships with other groups. The critical need is money - they need to guarantee £30,000 by the end of September and George wants to see his bike ride make a significant contribution.

George set off from Greenwich at 8.00 am on Wednesday 6 September aiming for Dover on what turned out to be a somewhat tortuous National Cycle Network route. To make matters even harder, temperatures in the South East were higher than they'd been for the previous month. Having cycled via Dartford, Gravesend, Sittingbourne, Faversham and Whitstable, George eventually achieved his target when he reached Sandwich Station at 8.20 pm

Anyone who would like to support George's efforts can help by giving on-line at or by writing to Hope UK, 25 Copperfield Street, London SE1 0EN, cheques payable to THIRST FOR LIFE.

Alternatively pledges can be sent by email to or by post.

For those that don't know, Hope UK, of which George is the Executive Director, is a national charity for children and young people, helping them to avoid the harm related to drug and alcohol use and encouraging healthy lifestyles. It also trains those who work with children and young people to carry out their own drug prevention work.