A former Royal Marine Commando spent his 51st birthday pedalling to new heights — by doing an epic cycle challenge to help Himalayan children in Nepal.

Phil Briggs’ marathon challenge was aimed at reuniting children who’ve not seen, or spoken to, their parents for 12 whole years.

Phil, from Maybole, cycled 228km in one day on his stationary bike in his garden, which took him eight and a half hours to complete.

As a former Royal Marine Commando, action man Phil is used to challenges.

But this was the furthest he’d ever cycled in one go.

Phil said: “It was a long eight hours and very sore at the end.

“I did this challenge to support the reintegration of Nepal’s Himalayan children with their families after 12 years apart — a whole childhood away from their parents!

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“Imagine how hard that must be for both children and parents.

“But they’re doing it to achieve an education that would otherwise not be possible, as the remote mountain areas they’re born in have no schools.

“This challenge was tough for me, but it’s nothing compared to the 15-day trek the young people have to undertake to get home.”

Phil's ultimate aim is to raise enough money for NGO Snowland Journeys to be able to get eight young people home to their parents in the highest villages on earth.

And the good news is that Phil’s efforts, on his birthday (February 25) have already raised nearly half of his £2,000 target.

Joanna Lumley is the patron of Snowland Journeys and will no doubt think Phil’s challenge is ‘Absolutely Fabulous’.

Phil said: “I appreciate times have been tough for many of us over that last year or so.

“These young people have been through the ‘ultimate lockdown’ for up to 12 years and it’s vital that this reunion takes place.

“Any contribution at all is greatly appreciated and will make a massive difference to these young peoples’ lives.”

You can read more or support Phil here.

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