Camden school boys cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for cancer

Camden school boys Sam Charalambous and Jimmy Brock, both 16, will cycle from Lands End to John O'Gr

Camden school boys Sam Charalambous and Jimmy Brock, both 16, will cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A group of three Camden school friends are undertaking a gruelling cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a cancer charity.

Sam Charalambous, Jim Brocke, and Joe Tompkins, who are all 16, will undertake the challenging 874 mile ride from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The teenagers, who live in Tufnell Park, chose the charity after friends and family were affected by cancer.

Sam, a pupil at Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park, said: “Me and Jim have a girl in our class that had cancer. She’s recovered now but she has inspired us to choose Macmillan.

“We’ve all had family members and friends who have had cancer, so we thought it would be a good charity to choose.”

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The boys set off on Saturday and will arrive in John O’Groats on August 20.

Sam and Jim, both students at Acland Burghley, and Joe, who attends King Alfred School in Golders Green, have undertaken a rigorous exercise regime since last December to prepare for the challenge.

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“We’ve been training since just before Christmas,” said Sam. “At first we would cycle around Regent’s Park. We started doing five miles and now we’re doing roughly 30 miles per day.

“We do a route around Alexandra Palace and we’ve also started doing London to Brighton to get a feel for the distance.”

To add to the challenge, Joe fractured his elbow on a London to Brighton ride earlier this month.

Sam’s dad Andy Charalambous, 59, described Joe as “very brave” and said: “After fracturing his elbow, Joe went to Namibia for two weeks undertaking charity work building schools, wells and hospitals.”

To help with raising sponsorship money, the teenagers have been attending Hampstead community events and summer fairs wearing Macmillan T-shirts and rattling collection buckets to rally support.

Family members have also helped out with the logistics for the epic ride.

“We’ve been organising youth hostels in England and Scotland and trying not to make the journey too long,” said Mr Charalambous. “We want to avoid challenging the boys too much by not having too many miles in any one day.”

The boys have so far raised £2,346 towards their £5,000 target.

To sponsor them, visit, where money is paid directly to Macmillan Cancer Support.

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