Redbridge cycling fundraiser under threat after charity’s closure

An annual cycling event in aid of blood cancer �research which has run for eight years is under threat after the charity’s Redbridge branch confirmed it is to fold due to lack of �volunteers.

But Steve Gowers, who �organised this year’s Redbridge Bikethon said the �curtain has not yet fallen on the annual event, which is sponsored by the Recorder.

“The message is despite the Redbridge branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma �Research closing, it’s not over for the Bikeathon,” he said. “We will be exploring other avenues when we hold our emergency meeting on October 9.”

One option includes amalgamating the Bikeathon, with another region, for �example Brentwood.

This year torrential rain hit the June event with just 80 of the 300 children who had signed up taking part. The sponsorship money brought in, usually in the �region of �6,000, reflected that at around �1,500.

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Mr Gowers admitted the event needed some impetus. “Over the past few years the number of people taking part has diminished so we need to refresh the day,” he said.

“It’s possible we could open up a special Ford track testing area, as that might attract new and young faces.”

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Poppy Baker, former president of Redbridge Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research has been involved with the event since it began.

She said: “It was a tremendous amount of hard work. We would start in January for the event in June.

“But it was the biggest fundraising event for the branch in the year, so it will be very sad to see it go.”

Recorder editor Chris Carter said: “It would be a real shame if the event was scrapped as hundreds of �Redbridge children have enjoyed a special day out, raising funds in the process for a worthy charity.

“If there is anyone out there who would be willing to help with the organisation of the event please get in touch.”

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