NHS Ride of Thanks
- Credit: Nigel Cole
Hundreds of bikers arrived on Paignton seafront on a Sunday lunchtime after touring across the Devon countryside.
The NHS Ride Of Thanks was the idea of Plymouth biker’s Andy Ash and Fred Colton as a way to pay tribute to all the NHS staff that we all relied so heavily on during the Covid-19 pandemic of the last 18 months.
Andy’s idea has been inspirational after he publicised the Devon event on social media and there will be a number of similar rides organised across the UK, with each one supporting their favoured local charity.
The parade of bikes left Plymouth mid-morning and headed up the A38 on their way to Paignton, enjoying the Autumn sunshine and the sound of their gleaming machines.
At Paignton, the organisers of the recently re-launched Wednesday bike gatherings, English Riviera Bike Nights, assisted with marshaling duties, as all the bikes parked up on the Promenade. Other volunteers to assist with the event came from the Plymouth Motorcycle Club, Widow’s Sons and Riviera Riders.
All riders taking part were asked to make a donation of £5 with all the money raised from the inspirational event being donated to Devon Freewheeler’s, a charity supporting “blood bikes” who deliver blood and other medical supplies around Devon.
The Devon Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service, or Devon Blood Bikes, were founded in 2009. All the riders, drivers, and call handlers are volunteers and rely on fundraising to continue their life saving work providing vital support to the NHS, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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A cheque for £2,415 was presented by Andy Ash to a representative for the Devon Blood Bikes on Sunday afternoon before the bikers departed on their return journey. It proved to be a magnificent fund raising event and another opportunity to say “thank you NHS”.
English Riviera Bike Nights have been running every Wednesday night on Paignton Sea Front and this week completed their summer programme. Give them a search on Facebook to keep in touch with plans for next year.