Helmets off to the SSAFA Victory Ride
At the weekend, SSAFA and Openreach, BT’s local network business, launched the Victory Ride, a brand new fundraising event, inviting cycling enthusiasts to dust off their helmets and take part in a 200 mile ride.
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The Ride set off from Portsmouth and followed a figure of eight route through the southern coastal towns of England, covering 100 miles each day, finishing at the iconic HMS VICTORY in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.
Speaking of the event, Flick Drummond, Portsmouth South MP, said: "I'd like to congratulate all those who took part in the Victory Ride and for all the money they have raised for SSAFA, a fantastic organisation that provides vital support for members of the Armed Forces and their families. I was delighted to learn that the Victory Ride was to begin and end in Portsmouth, given the strong military connections that the city has enjoyed for hundreds of years. I look forward to this becoming a regular fixture in Portsmouth's calendar of events."
It is anticipated that overall the Victory Ride has raised £20,000 for SSAFA’s work with Forces past and present and their families. From supporting those coming to terms with loss or injury as a result of recent conflicts, or providing a care home for elderly veterans, SSAFA works hard to meet the needs of the entire military family.
Corinne Pluchino, Executive Director at SSAFA, said: “SSAFA could not deliver what it does without the immensely generous efforts of our supporters, such as those who took part in the Victory Ride and I’d like to thank them for their commitment and commend them for their stamina. This is the first year for the Victory Ride, which was launched to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe. It will be an annual event, which will grow and we hope will tempt even more people next year. I’d like to offer our sincere thanks to Openreach who generously supported the event and their team of cyclists who have taken part to raise funds for SSAFA. I’d also like to thank Team Army for their leadership and assistance in helping to make sure the event ran smoothly and Wheels in Wheels for their dedicated logistical support and finally the National Museum for the Royal Navy; allowing us to finish the ride at HMS VICTORY was a great privilege.”
Amongst those who took part in the Victory Ride, a team of eight cyclists from Openreach took part and raised over £14,500 through company sponsorship and individual targets. Anne Heal, Openreach Managing Director Strategy, said: “Openreach was delighted to offer its
support to SSAFA for the Victory Ride and I was thrilled see the Openreach team of riders cross the finish line. This fundraising event is one of many that Openreach will collaborate with SSAFA on over the forthcoming months, as we celebrate a partnership that builds on our shared long-standing support and commitment to the Forces and their families.”