AFTER cycling more than 800km for six straight days, the smiles at Grafton High School's support unit was the lift the Variety Cycle riders needed to keep them going on their journey up to the Great Barrier Reef.

The cyclists, led by founding member Christopher Mapp, stopped in at the school to donate $2500 towards the purchase of an automated interactive table for the support unit to assist their learning and development.

"When people talk about raising money for charities, we're certainly putting in some blood, sweat and tears to do that," Mr Mapp said.

"I think writing a cheque is one thing, but making a huge effort physically or doing something emotional while you're actually donating money and raising money just helps make it a bit more special."

Grafton High students Sarah Panton-Marchant and Madeleine McKenzie get some gifts from the Variety cyclists who dropped into Grafton High to present money for new touchscreen table for the students.
Grafton High students Sarah Panton-Marchant and Madeleine McKenzie get some gifts from the Variety cyclists who dropped into Grafton High to present money for new touchscreen table for the students. Adam Hourigan

Head support teacher Linda Bloch said the interactive table, which was also supported by Southern Cross University's Stellar program, works like a giant iPad that sits on the ground and allows students to fit around it.

"Most technology is individual, you're using the computer by yourself or an iPad by yourself, but the interactive table will be great for group activities," she said.

"Technology has been brilliant in the students development, and this table will allow our teachers to interact with the students and really help their social skills."

Mrs Bloch said it was very exciting to be visited by the Variety Cycle riders.

"It was fantastic for them to visit, and it was a great opportunity for their social skills and the chance to interact with adults and meet new people, and the positive donation was very much welcome," she said.

Now in its third year, Mr Mapp said the group had already raised more than $500,000 as they neared the half-way point of their 15-day adventure from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef.

"The most important thing is visiting the schools, because we get a real buzz out of that and gives us the energy to keep going and raise the money," he said.

"There are so many needs that kids have, and if we can help them live better, and just allow them to be kids, then we're happy."



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