AS banners line the streets of the city, Pimm’s is poured and parades take place across the country to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, a group of hardened cyclists today [Friday, June 3rd] set off on a three-day charity trek from Ayr to Aberdeen.
Four charities across the North East have been selected to benefit from the money raised by bp’s Coast 2 Coast cyclists this year. These are Aberdeenshire North Foodbank, AberNecessities, Camphill School Aberdeen and Maggie’s.
Coast 2 Coast has raised around £1.8m for local charities since its first run across Scotland in 2008. Now in its 13th year, the runners are aiming to hit the £2m milestone of fundraising upon their return.
The 2022 team includes 65 current and former employees who have participated in months of training to prepare for the 250-mile bike ride.
bp geophysicist Nandini Nagra is part of the organizing committee of Coast 2 Coast. She says:
“Coast 2 Coast is going from strength to strength as we approach this £2m fundraising milestone. It is a testament to the courage and determination of bp colleagues, past and present, who have walked the miles over the years.This year will be no different with approximately 33,000 feet of climbing over three days.
“We are grateful to everyone who has encouraged us along the way and who has supported our four fantastic chosen charities with their generous donations. Knowing that our efforts are helping such worthwhile causes makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Each rider has a fundraising target of £1,000, with participants able to nominate a charity to benefit from the amount raised. All fundraising funds raised by bp employees are matched by the bp Foundation, which doubles the value of any contribution.
Cyclists will be greeted with a celebration hosted by Camphill Schools Aberdeen when they return to Aberdeen on Sunday [June 5th].
Nicolas Nino-Ramirez, head of sustainability and social enterprise at Camphill, said he was honored to have been chosen by the runners as one of their charities and looked forward to welcome cyclists across the finish line.
Nicolas added: “The money they raise will be used to buy an electric van for our new social enterprise Murtle Market, part of our ambitious £10million fundraising campaign, ensuring that even more children and young people with complex support needs can access our services. We wish good luck to the runners.
Danielle Flecher-Horn, Founder of AberNecessities, which provides underprivileged families in the city with essential and basic needs, said: “We are honored that AberNecessities has been chosen by bp’s Coast 2 Coast cyclists. It’s such an amazing challenge and we love seeing people embrace their hobbies and get involved in so many great causes.
“The support we provide has become more important than ever to so many families across our city and county; the funds raised will truly make the biggest difference for babies, children and young adults living in the North East of Scotland.
“To all cyclists, we wish you good luck and sincerely thank you for your generosity and kindness.”
Aberdeenshire North Food Bank manager Debbie Rennie explained how important fundraising is to the charity.
“During the pandemic, we have seen an almost 50% increase in the number of people in need of emergency food,” she said. “We provided more than 8,000 food parcels in 2021 and 2022 unfortunately turns out to be just as busy. We have the onset of the cost of living crisis impacting people’s budgets and in the fall and winter that is when it is predicted that further pressures will be evident.
“Funds raised through this amazing effort will go to support our five food bank centers and two warehouses as well as our small team that supports our fantastic team of 80 volunteers. The funds will also be used to buy food to distribute in parcels.
“We wish all riders good luck with their cycle over the Jubilee weekend.”
Maggie’s center fundraising director Richard Stewart described gifts like this as a blessing. He said, “The main purpose of the financial support is to cover the day-to-day running costs of the centre. It costs £12,000 to run Maggie for a week, or around £2,400 a day. The money raised through the Coast 2 Coast cycle in previous years has been enough to fund two to three weeks of support for the centre.
To sponsor cyclists participating in the challenge, you can select your favorite cause and click on the link below.
AberNecessities – https://www.justgiving.com/team/AberNecessities
Maggie’s – https://www.justgiving.com/team/bpC2C13
North Aberdeenshire Food Bank – https://www.justgiving.com/team/ANF
Camphill Schools – https://localgiving.org/appeal/C2CScotland/