The founder of an alcohol awareness charity has raised thousands of pounds after completing a gruelling cycle across Central America.

Terry Martin, who is a trustee of Alcohelp, rode 500km to raise money for the charity, which teaches youngsters across Essex about the dangers of alcohol.

Castle Hedingham resident Terry discovered this week that his gruelling ride, which took place in November, raised £2,500.

The accountant, who works in Braintree, started his ride in Panama, before travelling through Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Terry said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who sponsored me for cycling across Central America.

“The trip was tough and at times we were cycling in 100 degree heat and monsoon rains, and off-road along steep mountainous off road climbs.

“But it was a great experience; meeting local people and learning about their culture as well as getting to see some amazing scenery.

“It was all worth it to raise this fantastic amount of money for Alcohelp, which will help us to continue our work across Essex, including expanding our volunteer programme so that we can educate more young people about the dangers of alcohol.”

The varied scenery and terrain of the route included banana plantations, rainforests and even smoking volcanos.

It is not the first time Terry, a recovered alcoholic who has been sober for 14 years, has taken to the saddle in aid of the charity.

He has previously completed trips in the Far East, Asia and Africa. as well as riding from London to Paris.

Alcohelp is also celebrating receipt of a grant from the Prince’s Trust to continue its volunteer programme.

Terry helped establish Alcohelp with two friends in 2005.

Since then, more than 50,000 children and young people have taken part in workshops organised by the charity.

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