A GPOUP of Hampshire students have used pedal power to raise a total of £1,723 for two charities.

Eleven students at Totton College were told to come up with a fitness-inspired event in aid of Sport Relief and Friends of PICU, which supports the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital.

They devised a 24-hour charity cycle challenge and trained for four months, holding weekly sessions at the college’s fitness centre.

The event began at Beaulieu and continued through the night on static bikes donated by Totton Health and Leisure Centre.

As well as organising the challenge the students maintained the bikes with the help of three others who had completed a bike maintenance course at the college.

Friends of PICU will be use its share of the money raised to buy new equipment for the hospital.

Ian Vickery, a sports tutor at the college, said: “It was a really great day and an amazing achievement by all the students.

"They managed the entire event themselves and raised money for two very good causes.

"Despite the lack of sleep, the pupils showed great morale and all worked exceptionally hard to make the event a success.”

Mark Hilder of Friends of PICU added: "I’d like to say a big thank you to all the students at Totton College who took part in this tough and creative challenge.

"Thanks to their impressive efforts and generous donation, we can continue to assist in providing the best care and give hope to the lives of critically ill children, and their parents and families, who will in the future require the specialist services provided by the PICU."