Southam optician to cycle 100 miles for vision charity

An optician from Southam will cycle 100 miles in less than a day to raise money to help children in poverty receive access to eye tests and glasses.

Michael Murray, Director of Janet Porter Opticians, in Coventry Street in Southam, is taking part in the Velo Birmingham and Midlands, which challenges 17,000 cyclists to reach the distance in less than nine hours.

Michael Murray will be taking on the Velo Birmingham and Midlands cycle ride this month. Photo submitted.

Michael Murray will be taking on the Velo Birmingham and Midlands cycle ride this month. Photo submitted.

The optometrist, who has been in the industry for 20 years, is hoping to raise £500 for Vision Aid Overseas, a global charity which helps those in poverty receive eye tests and, if required, glasses.

Michael, a father-of-two and husband to Charlotte, will tackle the challenge on May 12.

He said: “I’ve always been a keen cyclist and, as an optometrist, I want the best for everyone’s eyes, so the chance to marry the two was an obvious opportunity to take.

“In my line of work and seeing patients every day, you can sometimes take for granted how readily available eye tests can be and the multiple places you can receive that care.

“So, to be able to raise funds for more people around the world to see better is something that’s very close to my heart.”

Not only has Michael had to deal 10 weeks’ worth of intense training, he’s also had to juggle this preparation with life as a full-time optometrist.

Michael added: “As I work throughout the week it’s been a real challenge to find the time to get the hours needed, so it’s mostly been on the weekends.

“My wife Charlotte has been a great help, especially because I’ve had to be away from home for sometimes six or seven hours at a time, which with two young children can be a challenge.”

The ride will finish and end in Birmingham city centre.

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