A BANBURY bank manager has swapped bean-counting for a bike and side car to raise money for Katharine House Hospice.

Gareth Nichols, who runs the TSB branch in High Street, has just completed a 700-mile tour of Britain along with friends to raise cash for the Adderbury hospice.

Starting from Ruthwell, Dumfries, and ending back in Banbury, the trip passed through 12 major towns and cities and raised £4,300 in the process, smashing the original fundraising target of £2,500.

It formed part of a spectacular fundraising weekend for Katharine House as some 500 people took to the streets of Banbury for the 11th sponsored Midnight Walk.

Mr Nichols avoided motorways to add to the challenge and was accompanied by his friend and bank customer, Charlie Prescott, who built the motorbike and side car.

The first leg of the journey, from Ruthwell to Berwick on Tweed, was sent off by a charity delivering medical supplies run by volunteer bikers, the Blood Bikes.

He said: "Thank you so much to the local Blood Bikes for setting us off on our 600-mile motorbike ride. They do a fabulous job delivering much-needed medical supplies in the local area.

"We’re really proud to support and raise money for Katharine House Hospice as the work it does is so vital to the local community."

Katharine House offers specialist end-of-life care to people living with terminal illnesses in North Oxfordshire and surrounding counties.

It also helps people with life-shortening conditions to live independently and offers support to families and loved ones following a bereavement.

This year the charity is celebrating its 25th year and support from the public through fundraisers, volunteering and regular donations is vital to its continued survival.

For more information on Mr Nichols's journey or to donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/banburytsbgreatadventure