Cycling Hero Completes UK Trek for Charity

UK for UNHCR supporter, Carlo, cycled across Great Britain to raise vital funds in support of refugees.


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Hi, I’m Carlo. I recently cycled my way across Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats, following one of the toughest routes called the GB divide.  

But I wasn’t just doing it for fun. I was on a mission to raise funds for UK for UNHCR’s work supporting people who have been forced to leave their homes. 

I became aware of what refugees go through to escape conflict. It hit me hard. 

Growing up in Italy, I often read and watched a lot of news about people dying in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to find a safer place to live. I always wanted to help refugees, but what really kicked things into high gear was when the war in Ukraine broke out. And after watching the movie “The Swimmers”, I became even more aware of what refugees go through to escape conflict. It hit me hard. That’s when I knew I had to do something. 

I love cycling and have a deep interest in exploring the world, so I took on the massive challenge to raise money for a good cause whilst doing something I love. 

To prepare for the challenge, I biked all over the city of London, covering more than 250 kilometres each month. In the month leading up to my big journey, I went on a two-day off-road ride covering 200 kilometres to get ready.  

It was one of the hardest mental challenges I’ve had to overcome 

Now, let me tell you, I faced many tough moments along the journey. Oh, so many.  

I had pain in my left knee from all the cycling, as I was on my bike for 8 to 10 hours a day, carrying a heavy load with all my camping gear, food, and water.  

On one of the days, my bike’s chain snapped, and I couldn’t even call for help because there was no phone signal. Thankfully, two farmers came to my rescue. Another time I cycled 125 kilometres in one day with really steep hills. It took me 14 hours to finish, which meant I had to cycle for hours in the dark. 

© Carlo Pizzuti

© Carlo Pizzuti

One of the worst nights was when a big storm hit my campsite. I was soaking wet from the rain, and the temperature was freezing. I had to set up my tent without drying my clothes, socks and shoes. The next day, biking on a muddy trail with wet socks and shoes was definitely one of the hardest mental challenges I’ve had to overcome in my life. Standing the cold was really difficult and I couldn’t feel my feet. 


I could have stayed in a hotel, but I thought: “What if I was escaping from war? 

That day, I could have stayed in a hotel, but I thought: “What if I was escaping from war? I would not have found a hotel on my way or maybe I wouldn’t have the money for it,” so I decided to camp. Although I felt numb from the cold, I didn’t give up. I kept going because I wanted to understand what it’s like for refugees who don’t have a warm, dry place to stay.   

© Carlo Pizzuti

When I finally reached John O’Groats, it was an incredible moment.  

I cycled on the beach at low tide, dropped my things and then jumped into the North Sea (water temperature was around 7 degrees!). In that moment I felt proud of what I had accomplished. 

© Carlo Pizzuti

© Carlo Pizzuti

Even one person’s effort can make a big difference 

What made it even better was how many people supported my mission. People from all over sent me beautiful messages of encouragement and donated to help refugees. It showed me that even one person’s effort can make a big difference.  

So, here’s a piece of advice for anyone thinking about fundraising. People love to support causes that are extraordinary or challenging. If you want to raise money from your friends and family, do something amazing that makes them say, “Wow!”  

My adventure wasn’t just a bike ride; it was proof that one person can do incredible things to help others when they care enough.  

© Carlo Pizzuti

© Carlo Pizzuti

Although Carlo has completed his challenge, you can still donate to his JustGiving page here to raise more money for people forced to flee. 


To read more inspiring supporter and refugee stories, please click here 

To find out more about how you can fundraise for refugees visit our community fundraising portal.

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