Serving and former Royal Navy personnel are taking part in a 300-mile cycle ride across England in aid of a veterans’ charity.
On Friday 11th May, 24 sponsored riders will cycle from Falmouth to the Admiralty in London in less than 60 hours to support and promote the charity Care after Combat.
The charity formed by Jim Davidson OBE, Simon Weston CBE aims is to support veterans with alcohol and substance misuse problems and the reduction in re-offending in the criminal justice system by former members of HM armed forces by a process of mentoring.
Commander Stephen Anderson – Chairman of Care after Combat, said: “The charity gets little help from others and is very much reliant on the fundraising efforts of their supporters. The cyclists that are embarking on this challenge, on the most fitting of routes for the Naval Service, will aim to get the message out about this unassuming charity and raise vital funds that will support our veterans getting their second chance – they deserve that more than many of us.’’
He said Care After Combat was one of the few military charities that does not go to great lengths to promote itself: “Those directly involved in its day-to-day business do it in such a modest way that they do not seek credit or undeserved plaudits.
“This is one of the main reasons I got involved in their fundraising from their inception in 2015, and now find myself as their chairman. They aim to give veterans who have found themselves in trouble a second chance and their mentoring results speak for themselves. As a result, the rate of re-offending by veterans is a fraction of that of the general population in prisons.’’
Chief Petty Officer, Kirk McCaffer said: “I am doing this as I see it as a great opportunity to give something back to the men and women who have given the service so much. The beneficiaries of the money raised have found themselves in unfortunate positions and this is our little and “painful” way of giving them a helping hand on the road to recovery. Veterans don’t often get the credit that they are due for giving years of their lives to the service. I think that if I was ever in a situation where I needed help the service family would do the same for me. “
He added: “The event illustrates the togetherness and respect that serving Armed Forces personnel and veterans have for one another. The team effort also gives the veterans taking part a sense of belonging they had when enlisted as they can relate to the serving personnel cycling by their side.’’
Overnight stops will be at Commando Training Centre at Lympstone and Salisbury Super Garrison. Each rider will cycle more than 100 miles per day. The riders include Invictus Games gold medallist Adam Clark and CEO of Onecom, event main sponsor Darren Ridge.
The event is named the Pickle Ride and follows the Trafalgar Way – the historic route that the captain of HMS Pickle Lieutenant John Richards Lapenotiere took on his return to Falmouth from the Battle of Trafalgar to deliver news of the Victory of battle and of Admiral Nelson’s death.
Serving Royal Navy riders: Chief Petty Officer Ronald Harding, Chief Petty Officer Lee Windeatt, Chief Petty Officer Gavin Tauch and Petty Officer Mark Rae. Also Darryl Heaton, Regional manager of Care after Combat, and Darren Ridge.
Royal Navy and Royal Marines veteran riders: Lee Cox, Si Piles, Ade Kirk, Adam Clark, Stewart Milne,, Gary Drew, Keith Tatham,
Donations to WWW.justgiving.com/fundraising/trafalgar-way-cycle or via text , please text TRAF89 followed by the amount £3, £5 or £10, to 70070 Follow on Facebook: pickleride2018 and Twitter: @CAC_fundraising