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Charity cyclists complete tour of temples for Woodford Green children’s hospice

PUBLISHED: 18:35 25 July 2016 | UPDATED: 18:36 25 July 2016

Swaminarayan House Temple followers took part in a charity bike ride starting in Newham

Swaminarayan House Temple followers took part in a charity bike ride starting in Newham

Archant

Hindu cyclists pedalled from temple to temple across the capital raising thousands of pounds for a children’s hospice.

More than 50 people, including families from Redbridge, raised more than £6,000 for Haven House Children’s Hospice, High Road, Woodford Green.

The 31-mile bike ride came after they were inspired by a charity cycle challenge held by the Singh Sabha London East gurdwara in High Road, Seven Kings.

Accountant Sanjay Kerai, of Perth Road, Gants Hill, said: “I was amazed at the youth in the Sikh community and I thought how could we do something in our community?”

The 44-year-old, a keen cyclist, got together with families at the Swaminarayan Temple, Shaftesbury Road, Forest Gate, and decided to give back to the community with the bike ride, which was held yesterday.

It began from the temple to its other branches in Stanmore and Kenton, north west London, before coming to a close at the temple in Willesden.

“It was amazing,” said Sanjay. “There was a lot of commotion and noise when we finished – it was a real carnival atmosphere.

“It was really nice to see the community come together.”

The riders, aged between 13 and 65, took part in prayers before heading out to train with Sanjay, who has completed cycle challenges in Paris and Marrakesh.

“I think it’s very important as a temple to give back, we should be setting an example for the youth – to appreciate what we’ve got and other people that are less fortunate than ourselves,” he said.

“The temple is a really good medium to do that, it’s a seva [selfless service] for them and it’s about giving back to the community.”

Sanjay, who volunteers at the temple and has raised money for the hospice on previous rides, said it “touched my heart” when he visited Haven House.

“They gave us a tour and I was absolutely amazed at the work they do – it blows my mind,” he said.

To donate to the charity visit eltemple.uk/donate


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