Cyclists hit top gear for good causes

Jeff Crawford (centre in dark blue) presents the cheques to Keith MacGillivray and (far right) Andy Shuttleworth, watched by (left) Stuart Walker and his son Evan.

Keen cyclists from the emergency services have rallied together at a Teesside event to raise hundreds of pounds for two good causes.

The cash was raised in a raffle at the Annual Emergency Services Individual Time Trial Championships in June, which saw over 100 riders from Britain’s police, fire and airport fire services cycling against the clock in races along the A19.

Now the money – totalling £470 – has been shared equally between The Fire Fighters Charity and the Fire Service Cycling Section in a special cheque presentation at Stockton Fire Station.

Jeff Crawford, who is Event Secretary for the Time Trial Championships and is a Stockton Firefighter, said: “To raise almost £500 from the raffle was an excellent achievement – everyone ‘dug deep’ to make the event such a great success.

“A big thank you to everybody who donated prizes for the raffle. Above all, thanks must go to Stuart Walker for providing the star prize – to get such support from a local business was absolutely fantastic. He is one in a million.”

 Mr Walker, who owns Eaglescliffe-based Black Hawk Bikes, donated a top-of-the-range carbon fibre time trial cycle frame plus forks.

He said: “I was delighted to support the event and am pleased it went down so well. I felt it was really important to give something back to our firefighters who do so much for the local community.”

The Fire Fighters Charity has been running for 65 years and provides advice and support to injured fire service personnel and their families. Its work includes running three therapy centres – in Cumbria, Sussex and Devon.

Keith MacGillivray, the Charity’s Chairman, said: “We survive completely on voluntary donations from both the Fire Service and the public, so to get a donation like this is marvellous.”

The Fire Service Cycling Section is part of the Fire Services Sports and Athletics Association and has hundreds of members from the fire services across the UK who take part in national cycling competitions and events around the country.

Andy Shuttleworth, Chairman of the Fire Services Cycling Section, said: “I would like to thank Stuart Walker for such a generous gesture and Jeff Crawford for all the hard work he put into the event. We are very grateful for this kind donation.”

For more information about the Fire Fighters Charity visit www.firefighterscharity.org.uk. For details of the Fire Services Cycling Section log onto www.britishfireservicecycling.co.uk