"I knew the money would be used well..."
Setting off on a 900-mile charity bike ride that took him from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Adam Johnson was following in something of a family tradition of long-distance cycling.
“It all started thirty years ago,” says Adam. “My granddad cycled the length of the UK when he retired. My dad was really keen to do the ride this year, so my brother and I joined him.”
Adam’s 14-day ride raised nearly £600 for Imperial’s Schistosomiasis Control Initiative – enough to bring medical treatment for parasitical diseases to over 1,000 children in some of Africa’s poorest communities.
Although an Imperial alumnus, Adam’s decision to support the SCI wasn’t just down to his connection to the College. “I wanted to raise money for a charity that was good value for money,” Adam explains. “The SCI does amazing work that has been independently recognised for its effectiveness and low administration costs. I knew that the money I raised would be used well.”
Looking back at his ride, it’s not the tired legs and aching muscles that Adam remembers, it’s the diversity of the countryside: “The ride showed me how varied the UK was. We passed areas where the road signs were in two languages. The views were brilliant, especially in Scotland.”
Having graduated in 2011 with a degree in Computer Science, Adam is now a programmer working in London, and is enjoying “playing around with code all day”. At 24, he is one of Imperial’s youngest donors. Does he expect to do more fundraising for the SCI in the years ahead? “Yes, definitely,” Adam nods. “It’s a project well-worth supporting.