Cycling Squadron Visits Trust to Say Thanks
Published: 10 Aug 2016
East Midlands University Air Squadron (EMUAS) recently visited Douglas Bader House to show off the road bikes they purchased thanks to a grant from the RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT).
The squadron were on the penultimate leg of a ten day charity bike ride, from RAF Flyingdales in North Yorkshire to HMS Collingswood in Portsmouth, which raised funds for the Jon Egging Trust.
Led by Charitable Trust Chairman, Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, staff and visitors at Douglas Bader House formed a welcome committee, greeting the team with a large round of applause.
"It was really nice to get such a good reception as we rode in", said David Meredith. "It's been amazing, seeing everyone's morale stay really high and we've worked very well as a team."
After a welcome drink and a slice of cake, the 15 cyclists showed off the bikes that were bought thanks to a £7,000 grant from the Charitable Trust and spoke about the highs and lows of their journey so far.
As well as purchasing ten specialist road bikes, the squadron used the grant to buy other essential equipment including helmets and secure storage racks, with plans to use the bikes for further charity rides as well as enabling squadron members to take part in road races and triathlons.
"The bikes have made such a difference to the squadron", said Calum Blair. "To be able to use them time and time again, not just for this one charity ride but also for future events is fantastic."
His teammates, Byron Fitzgerald and Elizabelle St Leger-Chambers, added "It has been physically challenging but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a good cause.
"It was great that the Trust gave the squadron the money to buy the bikes and that we can use them to help raise money for others. The bikes are excellent as they are very accessible, everyone knows how to ride a bike and they allow you to see lots of different places."
EMUAS supported the Charitable Trust in a number of different ways at this year's Royal International Air Tattoo including raising a record-breaking £10,000 by collecting money at the exit gates over the three show days.
"It's nice to know EMUAS are doing the squadron proud and always putting in maximum effort" says Off Cadet Fraser Gillan.