A CYCLIST will ride 45 kilometres today to raise money for Romanian children who suffer from HIV or Aids.

Andrew Ward, of Hanley Orchard, in Hanley Swan, took on the challenge after a local shopkeeper, Rosalind Davies, asked for his help.

The full-time carer, aged 61, has so far raised £300 for Everyone's Child Romania, although he is still looking for donations.

He said: "It will help the families of the kids who are born with Aids. There's lots of financial problems for them.

"Around 40 per cent of the kids born with Aids in Europe are born in Romania, it's a staggering amount.

"I do a lot of cycle rides. [Rosalind] knew that and her friend runs this charity. She asked me if I would do it and I said yes."

Mr Ward, who has visited Romania as a backpacker, started cycling a couple of years ago after he gave up walking due to back problems.

He will be riding up Wells Road, through West Malvern, past British Camp and Eastnor Castle, down Tewkesbury Road and then back to Upton.

Rosalind Davies, aged 65, owner of Hanley Swan Village Stores and Post Office, said: "I was the secretary for the charity for a while.

"I was speaking to the charity's director a few months ago and he told me about the sponsored ride.

"The idea of riding 45 kilometres is because that is the life expectancy of someone who contracts HIV.

"He's got friends in New Zealand doing it, some are doing it in Wales and he's doing it in Romania.

"He asked me if we could get people in England to do it and Andrew said yes."

Readers can donate either at the village shop or by ringing 01684 310890.

For more information on the charity visit http://everyoneschild.org.uk/