World record attempt to fund new schools in Africa

By Ian Dipple Wednesday 08 January 2014 Updated: 08/01 12:00

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Buy photos » Presenter Alex Hayden times worker Rick Connell on the bike. Picture by Marcus Mingins 0214012MMR

A WORLD record breaking attempt is underway in Redditch to raise enough money to fund the building of five schools in Africa.

Staff at UK jewellery retailer The Genuine Gemstone Company are attempting to cycle on a static bike the distance from the company's studios in Moons Moat to Arusha in Tanzania, some 6,867 miles.

The aim is to raise enough money to fund The Colourful Life Foundation in building five schools to improve the wellbeing of children in Arusha where there are over 400,000 seven to 13-year-olds out of education because of a lack of resources and on average just one teacher for every 49 pupils.

It could also earn the firm a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The challenge started on New Year's Day and will take a month to complete, with workers cycling around the clock. Already around £20,000 has been donated.

Steve Bennett, the company's founder and CEO will be doing his bit to complete the challenge.

"Tanzania is a place close to my heart. Having sourced many beautiful Tanzanite gemstones from here over the years, it feels amazing to be giving something back. We work very closely with the Colourful Life Foundation and together want to make a change," he said.

"With the help of our customers we have the opportunity to make a big change."

Simon Barnes, The Colourful Life Foundation's chief executive, added: "It could get very competitive on the bike, everyone wants to get fit this time of year and what better way to be

motivated than to know we can help change peoples lives."

Money can be pledged by shopping online at and donating at the checkout or call 0845 6588 663.

Residents can keep track of the challenge on the company's Gems and Rocks television channels or its Facebook page.

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