STUDENTS puffed and panted their way through a marathon exercise bike ride to raise money for a college’s charity trip to Peru.

Twenty four students and four members of staff from Carmel College, in Darlington, will travel to Iquitos in Peru next October for a fortnight to work with The Peru Mission, a charity which helps the country’s disadvantaged.

There they will take part in a project to replace a toilet block with improved sanitation facilities, as well as spending time teaching English to students.

Afternoons will be spent playing sport and organising other activities in a children's centre where many of the children are orphans, having been rescued from traffickers.

Darlington’s Dolphin Centre was the location for the ride with the public encouraged to add their donations to a bucket collection.

The cash will go towards building materials, paint and educational resources.

Teacher and trip leader Jo Turver said: “The idea has been to try and cycle as many miles as they could, but it is more fun than anything else and raising awareness of the cause.

“While we are in Peru we will visit some of the shanty town areas to give our students an idea of how deprived it is and how the facilities really are different to what they are used to.

“The weather will also be very hot and the humidity high, but the biggest challenge, as well as the physical work, may well be the emotional side of it.”

Anyone who wants to help with the fund raising can call the college on (01325) 254525.