Five directors of The Bannatyne Group are undertaking a major physical challenge to raise £100,000 for the company’s two chosen charities.

Inspired by the Tour de France, the five directors, Justin Musgrove (47), Anthony Elliott (36), Ken Campling (53), Steve Hancock (51) and Ed James (37) will leave Inverness on the 8th July, and cycle the 762 miles to Eastbourne, arriving 8 days later on 15th July.The team will stop at a number of Bannatyne health clubs en route.

The beneficiaries of the ‘Tour de Bannatyne’, which will test their strength and stamina to the limits, will be Look Good Feel Better and Operation Smile UK.

Look Good Feel Better is the only worldwide cancer support charity, providing practical support for women struggling with the side effects from cancer treatment.

The charity is dedicated to improving the self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing of people undergoing treatment for any sort of cancer. Its aim is to improve their self-image and appearance through free group and self-help skincare and make-up workshops that create a sense of support, confidence, and wellbeing.

Duncan Bannatyne has personally travelled on a number of medical missions, to see for himself the life-enhancing work Operation Smile carries out. The charity believes every child deserves exceptional surgical care for those with oral defects such as cleft palates. Since 1982 it has provided 240,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities, giving them a smile they might only have dreamt of.

Justin Musgrove, Chief Executive of The Bannatyne Group, said: “All five members of the team haven’t graced a saddle for quite some time now, which makes this all the more challenging. Bannatyne’s encourages its members to get fit and healthy so it’s only right that our fundraising should be physically challenging.

“What will keep us going is the thought of raising a significant amount of money for two amazing charities and the support of colleagues and our 200,000 members who we will keep up to date with our adventures.”

Sarahjane Robertson, LGFB Executive Director, said: “We are extremely grateful for Bannatyne Health Club’s continued support and we are delighted to be a part of ‘Tour de Bannatyne’ – I’m looking forward joining the Directors for the final leg. Money raised from this event and other activities throughout the year, enable us to expand our services and help thousands more women and teenagers living with cancer.”

Karen Jacques, CEO of Operation Smile, said: “Over the past four years Operation Smile UK has been extremely fortunate to benefit from the support of the Bannatyne Group, whose fundraising efforts have helped us change thousands of lives all over the world. We are all very excited to follow the progress of ‘Tour de Bannatyne’, and incredibly grateful to all involved for their continued support.”

Anyone wishing to donate can do so here http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/tourdebannatyne

Businesses and organisations wishing to support the team can contact janemadden@bannatyne.co.uk – all sponsors will be acknowledged in the newsletterwhich goes to 200,000 members