HUNDREDS of cyclists are “gearing up” to raise funds for children in Palestine and will pass through Newport today, August 4.

Actress and activist Maxine Peake will join a rally at the Wave with hundreds of riders expected to reach Newport city centre at 5pm.

“I have spoken out about the occupation of Palestine for many years and strongly believe supporting the people of Palestine is a human rights issue we should all get behind,” Ms Peake said.

“The Big Ride for Palestine is an annual event that brings people of all backgrounds together to raise awareness of the ongoing human rights abuses Palestinians face on a daily basis.

“The combination of cycling and hundreds of people wearing the flag of Palestine is a powerful visual message, and I am proud to be a supporter of this wonderful fundraising event and encourage others to get involved."

The Big Ride set off from Swansea on Thursday morning and arrived in Cardiff last night. Riders left the capital this morning, passing Caerphilly Castle, Hengoed Community and Wattsville Clubhouse in order to arrive at the Steel Wave Sculpture in Newport for 5pm.

The cyclists will reach Bristol on Saturday and cap the journey with a “15-mile figure of 8” which will take them to the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.

This year’s event is raising funds for the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA), a charity devoted to helping the children traumatised by the crisis in Gaza.

The event is also supporting Gaza Sunbirds, a cycling team from Gaza, in a bid to get them to next year’s Paralympic Games in France.

Rebecca Vaughan, chair of the Newport Palestine Solidary Campaign, said: “We are thrilled to witness the overwhelming response to the Big Ride for Palestine. It’s heartening to see so many people come together to make a positive impact on the lives of these children.”