Harris Lamb’s fantastic fundraising foursome have officially squeezed the brakes and dismounted after smashing their targets in their seven-day cycling challenge to raise money and awareness for Smart Works, and to help it continue its work supporting women in need into employment.

Team HL spent much of last week in the saddle notching up miles for Smart Works Birmingham’s Cycle for Smart Works Challenge, which has taken place for several years, raising money and awareness of the charity’s work providing vital support for women in need, supplying them with suitable clothing for interviews to help them enter the workplace to become financially independent.

The Cycle for Smart Works Challenge sees teams work together to collectively pedal 500 miles within seven days, raising money for the charity, whether it’s on the road, in the gym, or at home, and Team HL’s pedal pushing posse was made up of Fiona Mellor, Andy Smith, Andy Groves and John Pearce, who pledged to raise £500 for the cause as they notched up the miles.

The crew hit an immediate bump in the road when Andy Smith tested positive for Covid a couple of days before the challenge began, with his tremendous trio of colleagues promising to cycle his share while he recovered.

With the wearisome week now complete and the totals in, the team has cycled an impressive 556 miles, and exceeded their fundraising target by 25 per cent, having raised £629 for their efforts.

Fiona said: “I think it’s been a great effort, especially considering we were one man down for most of the week – happily Andy made a recovery to get out on the road on the final day! It has to be said though, that we’ve realised John is evidently more machine than man, as he racked up half of the target mileage all by himself! 

“Mostly we took part in the challenge taking shelter from the dreadful weather in the gym or the garage, but the weather was kinder towards the end of the week and we were able to get out on the road – the two Andys finished with a flourish riding the Mad March Hare – a 70 mile sportive – on the final day, which must have been quite an effort after being wiped out with Covid for over a week.

“It’s been a fantastic challenge and we’re delighted to have beaten our goals – a great effort for an incredible charity. I think we’ve all earned a rest before we jump back on our bikes again!”

Smart Works Birmingham was launched in 2016, and has a huge impact on the women it supports, all of whom are referred to the charity by housing associations, women’s shelters, job centres and training organisations. Based in Bradford Street, the charity serves the whole of the West Midlands, and helps as many women as possible back into the workplace in a bid to escape poverty, gain financial stability and restore confidence. 

For more details about Smart Works, visit