Published: 11:06, 02 August 2019
| Updated: 11:06, 02 August 2019
The pedal power of the cyclists on the Royal British Legion Industries Centenary Ride has raised more than £54,000.
The military charity is celebrating its centenary this year and is working to build a new village with homes for vulnerable veterans and their families.
Around 100 cyclists and support staff set off from the charity’s Aylesford headquarters and arrived 150 miles later in Ypres in Belgium, where they joined the nightly service of remembrance and heard the Last Post played at the Menin Gate war memorial.
Together they smashed the fundraising target, almost doubling the funds raised during last year’s ride.
The RBLI - founded in 1919 to help care for sick and wounded soldiers returning from the First World War - provides accommodation, employment and welfare support for hundreds of disabled veterans.
The cyclists included a team of six former Gurkhas, all of whom work for RBLI’s social enterprise Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC), which manufactures pallets, apple bins, and signs for clients including Highways England and Network Rail.
RBLI’s first Centenary Ambassadors, former Paratroopers Neil Young and Peter Ketley also took part having previously raised money for the charity by completing the 3,000 nautical mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and becoming the oldest pair to row any ocean.
RBLI chief executive Steve Sherry said: “What a truly amazing achievement by everybody who took part.
“Every penny raised by the ride will go directly to helping the former military personnel we support and to help build our new Centenary Village at Aylesford.
“We are immensely grateful to have received such tremendous support from all the riders in this incredibly important year for our RBLI.”
The RBLI needs to raise a further £2 million for the next stage of its Centenary Village project - a landmark scheme it hopes will be the cornerstone of its supportive efforts over the next 100 years.
If every one of the 1.1 million adults currently living across Kent were to donate just £2, this crucial project would be fully-funded - with change to spare for the RBLI’s other worthy causes.
That’s why the KM is launching the ‘Not 2 Much 2 Ask’ campaign - to encourage everyone to make such a donation by the end of the year and ensure this fantastic scheme, for our 2019 Charity of the Year, reaches its potential.
To donate £2, text ‘HOME’ to 70660* or visit rbli.co.uk/not2much2ask.
*Messages will be charged at £2 plus your standard network rate. You must be 16 years old and have the bill payer’s consent.
More by this authorTom Pyman