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Armed Forces cycle ride in aid of veterans

2 May 2018
Serving and former Royal Navy personnel are taking part in a 300-mile cycle ride across England to support and promote the veterans’ charity Care after Combat.

Armed Forces cycle ride in aid of veteransSetting off from Falmouth on Friday 11 May, the riders will cycle to the Admiralty in London in less than 60 hours following The Trafalgar Way.

This is the historic route that Lieutenant John Richards Lapenotiere, the captain of HMS Pickle, took to deliver news of the great victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and of Nelson's death in 1805.

The charity, formed by Jim Davidson OBE and Simon Weston CBE, aims 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, through 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.’’

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

Commander Stephen Anderson, Chairman of Care after Combat

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.’’

Each rider will cycle more than 100 miles per day with overnight stops at Commando Training Centre, Lympstone and Salisbury Super Garrison. The riders include Invictus Games gold medallist Adam Clark and Darren Ridge, CEO of Onecom, the event's main sponsor.

The serving Royal Navy riders are, Chief Petty Officer Ronald Harding, Chief Petty Officer Lee Windeatt, Chief Petty Officer Gavin Tauch and Petty Officer Mark Rae.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines veteran riders are, Lee Cox, Si Piles, Ade Kirk, Adam Clark, Stewart Milne, Gary Drew and Keith Tatham, along with Darryl Heaton, regional manager of Care after Combat, and Darren Ridge.

Donations to or via text, please text TRAF89 followed by the amount £3, £5 or £10, to 70070

Follow us on Facebook: pickleride2018 and Twitter: @CAC_fundraising

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