Follow the Gullivers' travels across the globe...

Bob and Deborah Gulliver are ready to set off on their travels today (Saturday).Bob and Deborah Gulliver are ready to set off on their travels today (Saturday).
Bob and Deborah Gulliver are ready to set off on their travels today (Saturday).
A Biggar couple were so inspired by long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont’s efforts that they are now aiming to cycle the globe – by tandem.

Bob and Deborah Gulliver will be cycling for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland and the Hospices of Hope’s Help for Ukraine appeal.

The couple have left their business, in Inverkip, in the capable hands of a manager for the duration of their trip, which is fully supported by their children Honi (25) and Feni (24).

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They will leave Rachel House in Kinross today (Saturday) and aim to return by the end of 2023.

Bob (53) said: “While we have no idea what we will encounter along the way, after more than 30 years working in IT programme management around the globe I always have to have a plan.

“While the plan may change on a regular basis, the schedule is to be back in Scotland to celebrate Christmas 2023 with our family, so approximately 21 months.

“It is slightly longer than Mark Beaumont’s world record!”

Bob and 49-year-old Deborah decided to take on the challenge after reading the cyclist’s memoir.

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He said: “It was reading Mark’s book of cycling around the world in 194 days that first inspired us to take up expedition cycling, although Mark's latest record of cycling around it in less than 80 days just tired us out reading it!”

Mark Beaumont was one of the first to offer words of encouragement to the Gullivers on their global adventure, in a video message he recorded for them.

He said: “I recently got wind of the Gullivers’ amazing plans to pedal around the planet on a tandem. What a fantastic adventure to set out on to support the incredible work of CHAS.

“It’s a wonderful mode of transport to get immersed in all these incredible cultures.

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“These are extraordinary times so what a way to show that you can still travel. Joining the world up again is such a commendable aspiration. I look forward to following their adventures.”

There’s little doubt why the couple chose to support the Help For Ukraine appeal, but what inspired them to fundraise for CHAS?

Bob explained: “CHAS is making such a huge and immediate impact on the lives of children in Scotland suffering life-shortening illness, in parallel with providing support for their families.

“It is heart-breaking to hear how many parents, just in Scotland, have a terminally ill child. As parents ourselves, we can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like.

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“We therefore can’t think of a charity that we would want to support more and hope that, through our efforts, we will further raise the profile of CHAS and, in turn, funds to allow the charity to support more families through such a painful time, while establishing long-lasting, happy memories.”

Now in its 30th year, CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for children with life-shortening conditions. It offers palliative care and family at its two hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch, as well as it CHAS at Home and virtual hospice services.

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