New statistics show the real difference your support makes

In the first six months from 1st April to end of September 2023, Eikon has been there for 1,527 children and young people 8,982 times.

 

Click on our new infographic to find out how with your support, these young people and their families have a safe place to turn.

These incredible numbers only tell part of the story. The real impact is in the difference made for children and young people and their families. A young person recently told us, “When I first met Sarah, I was depressed, unmotivated, having anxiety attacks, and had a real lack of self-belief…I’m now happier and believe I can achieve my dreams.”

In a recent survey of 100+ children and young people we’ve helped in the first quarter of 2023-24…

  • 100% said they were given the support they needed at the right time,
  • 100% said that the support improved their situation, and
  • 100% said they would recommend Eikon to other children in similar situations.

It’s hugely motivating for us to see the positive transformations in the children and young people we help. You can click on the stories below, to hear more from the children and young people you support.

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Growing community support for Eikon’s Tea Garden

The Eikon Gardens are a place for young people to learn new skills, make friends, relax in nature, and talk to a trusted adult in a safe space.

The Hopes and Dreams Garden and the recently renovated Tea Garden are only possible with the help of so many different kinds of community support. From donating plants to refreshing furniture with a lick of paint, or weeding and maintaining the gardens. Every job, however big or small, helps bring together this wonderful space for everyone to enjoy. Whether that’s at our Gardening Clubs, a session with an Eikon practitioner in the gardens, or a moment of rest and reflection with a cup of tea outside. And just as no job by itself maintains the gardens, no one person is ever alone.

Through weekly Gardening Clubs, students help maintain the gardens and last year they fundraised to give the green spaces a makeover. Recently we also received a wide range of generous support from our community to help improve the new Tea Garden. As a result of this community support, the Gardening Clubs have been able to lay fresh gravel, plant new flowers, and create a Tea Garden space for young people, Eikon staff and volunteers, and visiting parents and carers to enjoy.

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Donated plants from J.Parker’s

J.Parker’s, a well-known plant nursery in Manchester contacted us to kindly donate plants for our Gardening Clubs. Their generous contribution of over 80 bulbs and plants and a great quantity of seeds will help to brighten up our gardens – a thriving space for wildlife and beautiful place for reflection.

It means so much for children and young people to be able to plant these bulbs, watch them grow and thrive.

“The garden is like my time at Eikon. We don’t see the changes straight away, but one day we will notice three flowers.” – young person

Pictured is an Osteospermum flowering plant from J.Parkers, adding a splash of colour to the Tea Garden.

Osteospermum potted flowers

 

Volunteers got their hands in the soil

In June, Lucy from Bupa UK and Rose from a local marketing agency Space & Time Media, spent a day volunteering in the Tea Garden. Lucy and Rose helped with weeding, clearing and scrubbing, leaving our Tea Garden area looking spotless and ready for the gardening club to lay gravel and grow more plants.

Lucy and Rose said “Thank you so so much for organising the day. We had a great time… It was lovely to meet so many of the Eikon team and see so many young people using the services. It was fab!”

Joanne, Eikon Schools Team said “Lucy and Rose were lovely. They were happy to engage in any activity that was needed and were a ray of sunshine themselves.”

Thank you Lucy and Rose!

There are lots of different ways corporate teams can get involved and help young people in Surrey. You can find out more about corporate support here.

Two corporate volunteers in garden with Chris, CEO of Eikon
Raised beds in the Eikon Tea Garden
Corporate volunteers in the Tea Garden posing with cake

 

Fantastic furniture restored by Woking & District Men’s Shed

To complete the Tea Garden area, Woking & District Men’s Shed restored a set of old rusty, un-loved metal table and chairs. The furniture now has pride of place in the Tea Garden. Young people, staff and volunteers, and parents and carers can sit on the garden furniture and appreciate the new outdoor space for rest and reflection.

Thank you to Woking & District Men’s Shed for also donating two Swift Boxes – the young people at Gardening Clubs plan to use these in the main Hopes and Dreams Garden to support the local wildlife.

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Eikon and Woking & District Men's Shed with garden furniture
Restored garden furniture in Eikon Tea Garden
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Generous support from Byfleet United Charity

We want to say a huge thank you the Byfleet United Charity who generously funded this Tea Garden restoration project as part of their donation after visiting our Garden Open Day in 2022.

“Gardening club is for all school years and is relaxing and somewhere to have a rest with nature.” – young person

We know that being outside with nature can have a significant positive impact on our wellbeing. Thanks to community support like this, our garden spaces at Eikon can continue to provide a safe space for young people to connect with nature, relax and have fun.

“The garden project is wonderful. It brings such joy. Thank you” – Guest at Garden Open Day 2023

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How you can get involved…

All of us at Eikon and the young gardeners are so grateful for this community support! It has helped transform a space for everyone to enjoy and we couldn’t be happier with how it looks.

Do you want to help your community and spend time in nature?

We’re looking for adult volunteers to help us at weekly Gardening Clubs, or to provide ad-hoc help to maintain the garden. If you’re interested, please contact schools@eikon.org.uk for more information.

More volunteering opportunities
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Pride in Surrey 2023

Celebrating and connecting with the LGBTQ+ community and allies from across Surrey at Pride in Surrey on 9th September 2023.

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Our Project Worker Katy reflected on the event…

 

“🌈 We had an amazing day talking about our LGBTQ+ youth group and giving out temporary tattoos at Pride in Surrey!

It was incredible to see so many people coming together to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. And meeting other organisations also supporting young people across Surrey was really empowering.

We all have a role to play in increasing visibility, keeping LGBTQ+ people safe, and creating a more inclusive future. 🏳️‍🌈”

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Two Eikon Youth Workers at Pride in Surrey stall

 

This year at Pride in Surrey, our stall in the youth zone enabled us to have fantastic conversations with young people and families about LGBTQ+ support available in Surrey. We also had our pride mural where everyone could add their message of support, and see that Eikon and others are here for them if they need a place of safety and inclusion.

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Eikon Pride in Surrey stall
Information pin board at Eikon Pride in Surrey stall

Support for LGBTQ+ young people

Eikon offers friendly, confidential and practical support to all young people in Surrey and their families. We’re excited to share that our LGBTQ+ youth group and one-to-one support sessions will be resuming in October! These provide a safe space for young people to access support and guidance, as well as a chance to share and discuss feelings and emotions around being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Our LGBTQ+ youth groups are safe spaces for questions, support, discussions, activities and to make new friends. Our groups are completely free and open to all young people aged 11-18 (or up to 24 for young people and SEND) across Surrey who identify as LGBTQ+ or questioning. Click the link below to register your interest for our youth groups.

Register your interest
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Eikon LGBTQ+ pride mural

LGBTQ+ support for schools and parents & carers

In addition to our work with LGBTQ+ young people, we support families and schools to foster inclusivity. Parents and carers can access one-to-one support sessions with their young people and/or separately, as well as attend upcoming parent workshops. Schools and colleges can also request visits featuring pop-up stands, assemblies and LGBTQ+ youth drop-ins.

You can reach us at eikonLGBT@eikon.org.uk to book a visit or find out more about any of the above.

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Woking Golf Club charity day raises record amount for the children and young people of Surrey

The Captains of Woking Golf Club pulled out all the stops for Eikon this year, raising a record amount for any charity golf day in the club’s history.

 

Woking Golf Club worked so hard to create an amazing day with a fantastic array of prizes for their raffle and auction. Prizes ranged from 4-ball vouchers at some of the UKs most prestigious clubs, to chauffeur driven vintage cars and beautiful paintings by local artists.

The golf events throughout the day were so popular, that members were having to join a waiting list to enter teams on the day.

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Eikon Team and Woking Golf Club members posing under gazebo
Woking Golf Club Charity Team
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Woking Golf Club members and Eikon team at Charity Day

Our staff, volunteers, and the young people we work with are so grateful to the Captains of Woking Golf Club for choosing us as their charity of the year and putting on this incredible event. We want to say a huge thank you to all the staff and members as well who together raised a staggering £25,000 for Eikon!

Thanks to Woking Golf Club’s support, more local children and young people will have somewhere to turn when help is needed.

You can read more about the ways this support helps the children and young people of Surrey here.

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The Captains of Woking Golf Club shared…

 

“Child and adolescent mental health really is a challenge for our times. Throughout all communities across Surrey, there are too many young people in crisis, too many who, without the help of Eikon would go under the radar. Eikon helps before the problem becomes a crisis and that is why we at Woking Golf Club wanted to help.”

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Woking Golf Club Charity Day art prize
Painting of Woking Golf Club House by Grace Cerveny
Woking Golf Club Charity Day auction
Auction prizes including a signed Harlequins rugby top
Woking Golf Club Charity Day raffle prizes
Fantastic selection of raffle prizes on the day

Get involved

You can make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in Surrey.

Whether you want to run a marathon or host a coffee morning, there are lots of different ways you can get involved.

Click on the links below, or contact our friendly team about your next great fundraising idea…

Take on a challenge Get your company involved More ways to support us

The Hopes and Dreams Garden – a space for young people to relax, learn and grow

Over five years ago, a group of students had a dream to transform an overgrown part of their school grounds into a beautiful garden that could be enjoyed by future students and help their wellbeing.

In 2017 their journey started with just £20.  The students fundraised, designed, and created the garden with the support of Eikon staff and community volunteers.  In July 2019, the Hopes and Dreams Garden officially opened, providing a space where students could volunteer and help create something beautiful for others to enjoy, all while learning new skills and making new friends.

Since then, student volunteers have continued to enjoy maintaining the garden together at weekly garden club sessions, including during the challenging COVID-19 years.  In the last school year, over 100 students attended our garden club at Fullbrook School.  This gave them a safe place to get involved with nature activities, relax, have fun and connect with others.  We use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing – Connect, Learn, Active, Notice, and Give – to focus on how we can look after our own, and others wellbeing.

Our student gardeners continue to enjoy improving and expanding the garden spaces.  They look to re-use materials where possible, and recognise the need to fundraise to support the garden space so it can continue to help young people.

“Throughout my time at Fullbrook as a student I enjoyed being heavily involved in the Garden Project.  It’s really nice to see a garden used across the whole of Eikon.  It’s so rewarding to see the growing numbers in garden clubs and how the garden is benefitting the young people.”

David, Eikon Volunteer

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Garden Open Day

In July 2022, our student volunteers hosted their first garden open day, showing their families and friends what they have created.  The gardeners planned for the open day months in advance, sharing their ideas about how to make it an enjoyable visit for guests of all ages.  Tour guides also practiced so they could confidently and proudly show the guests around the garden.

At the open day, the young gardeners sold different plants they had propagated and gifts they hand made with items from the garden.  There were games, a scavenger hunt, refreshments, and we even had a special guest appearance from our first hedgehog in the garden!

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Vegetable garden

Our student volunteers were thrilled with the amount they fundraised to improve the garden spaces and get some specialist tools.  These funds are also helping to enable new mini projects to get started now that students are back at school and in the garden.

“Utterly Amazing!  Beyond my expectations!  The garden is a wonderful space for all who come in and is clearly so beneficial for the young gardeners.  I was shown around by two very enthusiastic guides.”

Guest at Garden Open Day

 

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“Taking care of the garden reminds me to take care of myself.”

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“Going in the garden can really help calm me down – I can help out or just relax.”

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“Connecting with people makes me feel happy and less lonely.”

“I wrote a letter to my grandpa and put it on the bereavement tree, and when I come to Eikon, I can feel close to him.”

“Seeing animals is a good distraction because it stops my negative thoughts.”

“As a practitioner, I’m thankful to see the young people taking part in the gardening and really taking ownership.”

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Get involved

Do you have green fingers?

We’re looking for adult volunteers to help us a weekly garden clubs, or to provide ad-hoc help to maintain the garden. If you’re interested, please contact schools@eikon.org.uk for more information.

Can you help your community in another way?

We have a range of other volunteering opportunities, click here to find out more.

Want to help us support more young people with their wellbeing?

Click here to give a gift – any sized donation will help make a positive difference to a young person’s life.

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Meet Surrey Heath Youth Council – the youth group making positive change for young people in Surrey Heath

What is SHYC?

Surrey Heath Youth Council (SHYC) is a local youth group set up and previously supported by Eikon, that works to improve the lives of young people in the area and represent their voices on a variety of social issues.

We work on a range of different local projects throughout the year based on positively impacting young people, sometimes working with different local councilors to ensure youth voice is heard. We vote different members in to run different aspects of the group, such as a group Chair and an email manager.

“I joined SHYC because I wanted to help make a change in my community. I also wanted something to put on applications for things.”

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Surrey Heath Youth Council poster

What do you get out of SHYC?

We recently completed a survey to measure the impact of SHYC on our members. We found out that…

  • Overall the group felt 75% more empowered to make a difference to our community since joining SHYC
  • 100% of us felt that SHYC has helped us make new friends
  • 78% of us felt SHYC has given us the opportunity to connect to a community of young people
  • 67% of us felt SHYC provided us with a safe space to talk outside of school
  • 67% of us felt SHYC supported us to develop our transferable skills for the future
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Children cycling

What do you enjoy most about SHYC?

“It’s fun and we achieve meaningful change that benefits young people”

“socialising and making friends”

“helping the community”

“It’s great and I’ve been able to talk to people of all ages without getting worried”

“I like how we are mostly independent”

 

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Children at aqua park

What are some of the projects SHYC work on?

Our most recent project has been a cycling project in which we conducted a survey with over 300 responses and worked with local councilor Paul Deach.

We are also doing a mental health project, which involves making a leaflet about social media posts spreading information about mental health for young people including:

  • mental health in general
  • ideas to look after your mental health, and
  • the mental health experiences of certain groups.

One of our biggest projects was the TEDxYouth@SurreyHeath event we hosted in July 2021 at Camberley Theater. The event consisted of five speakers talking about a range of topics like unconscious bias as well as living independently and mental health. The speakers were from a range of organisations including Surrey Pride, Children’s Cap and Fearless Outreach. We had a live audience and a YouTube stream with over 200 views to date. Through the event we inspired local young people, recruited new members and got good publicity for the group! You can watch the event here.

To find out more about SHYC, go to our website and follow our social media pages:

Facebook icon    Twitter icon   Instagram icon

Written by Surrey Heath Youth Council

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Mental health leaflet

Summer activities with a positive impact

With the summer holidays here, many of us are looking for ways to enjoy time with our families (that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!). If you’re looking for activities that will keep you and your little ones busy, then check out some of our summer fundraising ideas in this blog post. There are lots of ways that you can have fun with your family, whilst helping to support young people in Surrey who need someone to turn to.

Not every child feels safe at home. For some, it can be a scary and lonely place, which is why it’s important that Eikon can be there for them. With your support, together we can help more children struggling over the summer holidays.

 

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How does your fundraising help?

Any amount you fundraise will mean that more children in Surrey can get the support they deserve when they’re struggling and need someone to turn to.

  • £60 could help pay for children to attend a lunch club in a Surrey school, giving them a safe place to escape the pressures of school and life.
  • £120 could help fund two hours of counselling, helping a young person who is struggling to overcome whatever challenges they are facing.
  • £250 could help pay for a Youth Support Practitioner to work closely with children experiencing complex mental health challenges, family breakdown or abuse.
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Summer fundraising activities for you and your family

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Have a sweet summer cake sale

You can raise some ‘dough’ by donning your aprons and baking for charity. You could invite friends and family over or approach your neighbours to see if they would like a sweet treat on a summers afternoon and ask for a small donation in return.

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Take on a sponsored silence

Organise a sponsored silence with your children and even their friends. You could try to think of other ways to communicate with your family for the day and plan some ‘silent games’. Have a countdown to the end of your sponsored silence where you can celebrate your success with a loud cheer!

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Host a talent show

Encourage your little ones and friends to show off their talents – singing, dancing, playing an instrument or perhaps something totally different! Sell tickets, have a raffle and hold a refreshments stall to maximise your fundraising to support children in Surrey.

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Organise a kids day club

If you’re feeling really brave, you could offer to run a club for your children and their friends and ask for a donation to The Eikon Charity in return. You could organise arts and crafts, races, nature walks, or all kinds of fun activities. Other parents get a child-free day to relax and you get to spend some quality time with your children, while raising money to help local young people.

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These are just some of our ideas, but we would love to hear yours! Our team is here to support you every step of the way, so please let us know your plans so we can help you by emailing fundraising@eikon.org.uk.

Thank you for your support! We hope you have a fantastic summer with your family and friends.

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Run, walk or jog a marathon – together we can keep children in Surrey safe

London Marathon and Virtual London Marathon will take place on Sunday 23rd April 2023.

 

This year, there are two ways that you can enjoy the iconic London Marathon race and give children in Surrey a safe place to turn to. You can either:

join over 50,000 runners in the streets of central London or
take on the Virtual London Marathon and tackle 26.2 miles at your own pace, on a course that suits you.

Take part in either marathon and you will be helping us give a vulnerable child in Surrey a safe space, where they can be themselves and get support from our dedicated practitioners to overcome the challenges they are facing. Running with #TeamEikon and raising vital funds means that we can be there for more children who need someone to turn to.

There is still time to sign up to either race, so why not challenge yourself, however you choose to tackle a marathon!

Image credits: AAT-events, Epic Action Imagery and Surrey Half
Find out more
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Man running the Marathon

What are the minimum fundraising targets for each marathon event?

  • London Marathon is £2,000
  • Virtual London Marathon is £300

Taking part in either marathon will help ensure a child facing complex issues receives the support they deserve. Join #TeamEikon and you we will support you from start to finish, as well as…

  • an Eikon Charity branded running vest to wear as you train
  • a finishers medal
  • a fundraising pack and help with setting up your fundraising
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Woman running the Marathon
Fatima took on the London Marathon and Virtual Marathon challenges to help at-risk children.

 

“Taking part in both the London Marathon last year and the Virtual Marathon in 2020 not only changed my life in terms of overcoming the mental and physical challenge when you’re training to run 26.2 miles, but it also helped changed the lives of so many children and young people through raising vital funds for The Eikon Charity. The entire experience has been life changing; I couldn’t recommend it enough! Do it! You will not regret it.”

 

Challenge yourself and do something incredible for young people in Surrey. Every mile will bring us closer to changing a vulnerable child’s life.
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Chris Hickford MBE, Chief Executive of Eikon, says:

 

“In nearly 30 years of The Eikon Charity’s existence we have not seen the wellbeing of children and young people be so low. More children than ever are really struggling. By taking on either marathon challenge and raising money for Eikon, you can help us provide more caring and committed professionals in schools and communities across Surrey who support these children through their challenges and to improved health. Please get involved and fundraise so that we can be there for more children who need us. Thank you.”

 

Chris Hickford

Get involved

Help us spread the word – encourage your friends, family and colleagues to ride for Eikon by sharing this blog post and our social media posts.

Sign up to London Marathon Sign up to Virtual Marathon
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Cycle 30, 60 or 100 miles to help local children thrive

RideLondon will take place on Sunday 29th May 2022

 

The iconic RideLondon-100 is returning for the first time since 2019.  Alongside the 100 mile race there are two shorter distances for those who want to take part but enjoy a shorter ride.  You are now able to experience the atmosphere of RideLondon by cycling 30 or 60 miles, all whilst helping vulnerable children in Surrey thrive.  Take part in any of the three distances and you will be able to experience the epic start and finish in Central London.  Riding with Eikon and raising vital funds means that we can be there for more children who need someone to turn to.

There is still time to sign up to any of the three races, so why not challenge yourself, whatever distance you choose!

If you decide to ride 100 miles for The Eikon Charity, you can sign up with us.

You can sign up for RideLondon-60 or RideLondon-30 directly with RideLondon.  If you sign up for the 60 or 30 mile races, or if you have secured a ballot place in the RideLondon-100 and would like to fundraise for us, then please email us so we can begin supporting you as soon as possible.

Find out more
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What are the minimum fundraising targets for each race?

 

  • RideLondon-100 is £500,
  • RideLondon-60 is £200,
  • and RideLondon-30 is £100.

Taking part in any of these challenges will help ensure a child facing complex issues receives the support they deserve. Cycle any length with Eikon and you will receive dedicated, expert support with your training and fundraising, as well as…

  • an Eikon Charity branded cycling jersey to wear as you train
  • a finishers medal
  • a fundraising pack and help with setting up your fundraising
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Cyclists in a race
Cyclists in RideLondon
Cyclists in RideLondon
Cyclists in RideLondon
Chris Hickford MBE, Chief Executive of Eikon, says:

 

“In nearly 30 years of The Eikon Charity’s existence we have not seen the wellbeing of children and young people be so low. More children than ever are really struggling. By taking on a RideLondon challenge and raising money for Eikon, you can help us provide more caring and committed professionals in schools and communities across Surrey who support these children through their challenges and to improved health. Please get involved and fundraise so that we can be there for more children who need us. Thank you.”

Chris Hickford

Get involved

The money our cyclists fundraise will make a huge difference to children struggling throughout Surrey.  It will help us provide more one-to-one support sessions, lunch clubs, youth specialists in schools and lots of other key services which give children a safe place to turn to.

Challenge yourself and do something incredible for young people in Surrey.  Every mile will bring us closer to changing a vulnerable child’s life.

Help us spread the word

Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to ride for Eikon by sharing this blog post and our social media posts.

Sign up to RideLondon-100 Sign up to RideLondon-60 Side up to RideLondon-30
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RideLondon route maps

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