A MEMBER of a Wolfscastle-based company has helped raise more than £11,000 for a diabetes charity through a 1,200 mile international cycle ride from Spain to West Wales.

Award-winning company FRIO UK, manufacturer of the world’s first patented insulin cooling wallet, has seen its Business Development Manager Chris Groves cycle from Santander in northern Spain to FRIO’s headquarters in Wolfscastle, Pembrokeshire over 30 days from April 11 to May 10.

FRIO has raised the money for leading type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

JDRF supports families and individuals affected by type 1 diabetes and funds research to cure, treat and prevent the condition.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The condition is not linked to lifestyle and can develop at any age. People living with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin every day just to stay alive.

The cycle ride, entitled Challenge 1200 for Liam, was also in memory of Liam Snailham, who died suddenly in 2010 due to a complication of type 1 diabetes.

Chris Groves, a very close friend of Liam’s family, cycled alongside Andy House, a friend of Liam, Liam’s father Martin who cycled from Plymouth to Haverfordwest, and Liam’s brother Rory, who cycled from Plymouth to Bristol. Mike Croft, also a friend of the Snailham family, drove the campervan from Spain and also managed to cycle 350 miles of the journey.

During the ride, Chris and Andy cycled along the northern coast of Spain, France and stopped at Plymouth where Liam lived and worked before cycling to Liam’s hometown of Bristol.

While setting out from Cardiff they were greeted by Wales’ London 2012 Paralympic Gold Medal cyclist, Mark Colbourne MBE, before finishing the final part of the route in Wolfscastle, Pembrokeshire.

The FRIO team celebrated the return of Chris, Andy, Martin and Mike with a welcome home party at FRIO HQ on May 10 that brought together the FRIO team, some of the company’s suppliers and distributors, over 150 members of the local community, Miranda Burdett - JDRF Regional Fundraiser for Wales, and Lord Mayor of Haverfordwest Alun Buckfield.

Chris Groves said: “We are overwhelmed to have raised so much money for JDRF, a charity so close to our hearts. The 1,200 mile ride has been an incredible challenge and we’ve been blown away by the support we have received from friends, family, suppliers and distributors, and the general public. It is great to know that we have not only raised vital funds for this great cause but have raised awareness of type 1 diabetes and have honoured Liam’s memory. ”

Martin Snailham, Liam’s father, said: “I am so proud of what we have achieved and how much we have raised for JDRF. My wife and I are active members of the charity so we know how far this money will go to support research and to support families through the challenges that type 1 diabetes often brings. Challenge1200 has meant so much to us as a family and we thank Chris and Andy for all of their hard work in raising money and awareness of type 1 diabetes in memory of Liam.”

If you would like to donate to #Challenge1200 for Liam, please do so through FRIO’s JustGiving page: justgiving.com/fundraising/Challenge1200ForLiam