A Burnham-On-Sea cyclist has pedalled 200 miles during a cross-country cycle ride from Burnham-On-Crouch in Essex to Burnham-On-Sea, raising over £2,000 for local rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.
Keen cyclist and former Mayor Andy Brewer completed the two-day challenge on Saturday evening (September 5th), arriving on Burnham-On-Sea seafront where he was welcomed at the BARB hovercraft station.
There to meet him were BARB volunteers and supporters plus Mayor Cllr Mike Facey, Deputy Mayors Cllr Nick Tolley and Cllr Andy Hodge, Sedgemoor Chairman Cllr Peter Clayton and Town Crier Alastair Murray.
Andy was cheered off from Burnham-On-Crouch on Friday morning before cycling through Essex to London and then on to Reading where he stayed overnight before taking on the final ride back to Burnham-On-Sea.
The event raised over £1,200 in donations for BARB and Burnham-On-Sea’s Retreat Caravan Park, sponsored the event with a further £1,000 donation.
Andy explained why he picked the long-running local charity: “It was a tough challenge – the route was difficult in several areas, but it’s gone well and I’m really pleased to have completed it and raised a great sum for BARB.”
“I’m so grateful for all the support that I have received, especially from Retreat Caravan Park, which spurred me on. It’s been an amazing two days and I hope the money helps BARB to continue their work in saving lives.”
“BARB provides an essential service in keeping our coastline safe and the charity is wholly dependent on voluntary contributions, much of which is achieved via local fundraising activities that have not been possible since the Coronavirus restrictions were introduced.”
A spokesman at BARB, which operates two life-saving rescue hovercraft and inshore rescue boats, says: “A big well done to Andy from us all on completing this challenge! We are hugely grateful to him for making us his chosen charity for this challenge and the Retreat Caravan Park for their wonderful support of BARB.”
“As a small, independent charity that is fully dependent on donations to keep our life-saving service running the amount he’s raised is massively appreciated and genuinely makes a difference in helping us run our charity.”
“This year has been very challenging, with fundraising halted since March. We need to raise thousands of pounds every year to keep running, so events like this make a real difference.”
Mayor Cllr Mike Facey added: “On behalf of the Town Council, I congratulate Andy on what he’s done. It’s a great achievement and its really wonderful to see a local charity being supported. I thank Andy for what he’s done and the BARB volunteers for their work.”
Sedgemoor District Council Chairman Cllr Peter Clayton added: “It’s fantastic to see such a large sum being raised for BARB, whose volunteers do such superb work in helping to keep our coastline safe. Big congratulations to Andy!”
BARB presented a certificate of appreciation to Andy and a bouquet of flowers to The Retreat’s Debbie Marchto thank them both.
Retreat Caravan Park sponsored the event and the park’s Scott Miles and Lucy Eccles travelled to Burnham-On-Crouch to see him off with two BARB crewmembers Michael Young and Sarah Heal who accompanied him along the journey