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Archant director makes a difference with charity ride

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Former South African Rugby World Cup winning captain, Francois Pienaar, has said a personal thank you to Archant and one of its directors, Mike Walsh, for raising over £6,000 for the Make A Difference Foundation (MAD) which helps disadvantaged young people reach their full potential.

The ex-Springboks captain, who received the World Cup from former president Nelson Mandela, expressed his thanks after Archant group board director Mike completed the 110km Cape Argus Cycle Ride to raise £3,285 for MAD which educates and provides mentorships for bright children from under privileged backgrounds.

The Archant Gold staff charitable giving matched funding scheme then added a further £3,000 to this donation to the Foundation to make the total £6,285.

Mike completed the Cape Argus Ride in 4 hours 16 mins as temperatures got up to 40°.

He said: “I've done this event for six years and been in the same race as Eddie Merckx, Lance Armstrong and Miguel Indurain. The excitement and support of the thousands of spectators cheering you on is incredible.”

“Being involved in business in South Africa for over 20 years, I realise that education is critical to the success of a developing market undergoing tremendous economic and social change.

“What differentiates MAD is having a mentor for the children in the programme to encourage and, importantly, protect them from all kinds of negative peer pressure.”

Francois, who is founding chairman of the Foundation, said: “The funds from Mike and Archant will to a long way to assisting bright, dedicated and talented youngsters. MAD provides exceptional educational and related opportunities to academically talented youngsters from less fortunate circumstances to help them reach their full potential as future leaders and role models in South Africa.

“This journey will see them through their secondary and tertiary education years not only with financial assistance but mentorship, emotional support and life skills training. I want to thank you for making this journey possible.”

To date the Foundation has supported more than 2,000 deserving learners and invested more than R2- million directly in the youth of our country.

In total, Archant staff across the country raised an amazing £14,551 for good causes in the last six months by running, walking, sleeping, dancing and cycling and Archant Gold doubled the charitable cash of each one.

Pictured above, Mike Walsh crosses the finishing line in South Africa.

© Archant Ltd 2013