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This weekend National Accident Helpline’s CEO Russell Atkinson and a team of energetic employees are undertaking the company’s toughest charity fundraising challenge yet as they tackle the 167-mile Way of the Roses Cycle Challenge over three days. The seven-strong team will be taking to the hills and dales of Lancashire and Yorkshire as they cycle from coast to coast along the spectacular route from Morecambe to Bridlington.
The ride has been organised to raise funds for National Accident Helpline’s company charity, The Air Ambulance Service.
The Air Ambulance Service is the umbrella organisation for The Children’s Air Ambulance; a national transfer service for seriously ill children and babies, and two Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS): Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) and Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA). Each rescue mission that the Charity’s HEMS teams carry out costs around £1,700.
The partnership between the two organisations began in April 2014 when NAH announced that it was nominating The Air Ambulance Service as its corporate charity; since then the company has raised over £7,000 towards its initial fundraising target of £10,000.
The Way of the Roses is the second major cycling challenge of the year for CEO Russell Atkinson, who tackled Mont Ventoux, the notorious Beast of Provence, in July. Through the two challenges he has already raised over £2,000 for The Air Ambulance Service.
“The Air Ambulance Service is a cause which is close to all of our hearts at National Accident Helpline,” said Mr Atkinson. “This particular challenge will be a testing one for several of us, but when the going gets tough and the hills feel unsurmountable, we’ll remember why we signed up and keep pedalling.”
Day one (Sunday 14 September) sees the riders set off from Morecambe and cycle the 48 miles to Grassington, passing the Forest of Bowland and southern Yorkshire Dales and tackling the hardest climb of the whole trip as they leave Settle, 35 miles into the day’s ride.
On day two the 59-mile route takes the team from Grassington to York, with the hardest work in the morning as they climb to the route’s highest point at Greenhow (1325’) before managing the sharp descent into Pateley Bridge and ending the day with a relatively easy ride across the Vale of York and into the city.
On the final day, with 60 miles to tackle, the riders leave York for the Yorkshire Wolds, passing through Driffield and Burton Agnes before gaining a sea view as they head down towards the Old Town and Promenade of Bridlington to complete their challenge and take a well-earned rest.
More information about the charity partnership is available on our dedicated Air Ambulance page, where readers can follow the progress of National Accident Helpline’s fundraising activities throughout the year and make a donation to The Air Ambulance Service.
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