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Stephen hits the road for Tesco’s National Charity Partnership

A TESCO colleague who battled back from TWO vital heart operations has completed a mammoth 900mile cycle across the UK.

Stephen McKeown from Dromore, Co. Down took on the incredible expedition to raise money for the supermarket’s National Charity Partnership with Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The 50-year-old’s ‘The Ticker Tour’ Challenge – which toured all of the home nations – took nine days to complete before the delighted dad-of-one arrived finished in Newcastle, Co. Down

Stephen – who has already completed a previous 500 mile charity cycle across his native Northern Ireland – said: “It’s been a long journey but I am absolutely delighted to have completed the Ticker Tour.

“I couldn’t have finished without the support of my family and Tesco colleagues who have been wonderful throughout.

“The National Charity Partnership is a fantastic initiative. I hope my story will inspire others to fundraise as well as set their own health and lifestyle goals.”

Fionnuala Savage, Northern Ireland fundraising manager for the National Charity Partnership commented: “Stephen’s determination to overcome the physical setbacks he has faced from living with heart disease is inspiring. It’s amazing that he’s chosen to fundraise to help others avoid going through the same thing.

“Thanks to people like Stephen the National Charity Partnership is able to fund projects in Northern Ireland within Belfast and Londonderry/Derry and Strabane that will help to inspire whole communities to set achievable lifestyle goals, to boost their health and wellbeing.”

Stephen’s journey began in Wales before he headed south and through the Cotswolds to Cambridge.

It was then north through the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines and onto Edinburgh before turning west to Cairnryan on the west coast of Scotland and back to Northern Ireland.

Back in Belfast he passed through Lisburn, Hillsborough, Downpatrick and on to Newcastle.

Tesco is committed to raising £30 million over three years for the National Charity Partnership, which formed in January 2015. Earlier this year it was revealed Tesco colleagues and customers had raised £10 million for the National Charity Partnership – with £324,000 of that coming from stores and customers in Northern Ireland.

Stephen is now looking to source further sponsorship to boost his bid.

To sponsor him and learn more about the challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TickerTour-2016