The annual wholesale, convenience and foodservice charity bike ride ‘Bikes Against Bombs’ has now raised over £1m.
The initiative was set up in 2015 by Neil Turton, non-executive director at Alliance Stores and Tom Fender, development director of TWC, to raise money for the Manchester-based landmine clearance charity and Nobel Peace Prize winning charity, Mines Advisory Group (MAG).
The 2023 ride, which is sponsored by TWC, Suntory and ITS, started on Sunday 26 March and comprised five tough days of cycling over 400km from Chiang Rai in Thailand to Luang Prabang in Laos.
This year’s event alone has raised in excess of £200k and is the seventh international ride – the previous six challenges have raised £830,000 for MAG and have taken place in regions including Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Cambodia, all of which are impacted by the legacy of conflict.
Alongside Fender and Turton, this year’s ride saw over 35 industry executives take part including: Andrew Selley, chief executive officer at Bidcorp UK; Mark Aylwin, non-exec chairman at Unitas Wholesale; Matthew Gouldsmith, channel director route to market and on trade at Suntory; Debbie Robinson, chief executive at Central England Co-op; and Aoife Kenny, commercial director at Unitas Wholesale, to mention just a few.
Turton said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to announce that we have raised £1m since Tom and I founded the charity bike ride back in 2015. We’re so proud to be able to raise this much needed money for MAG which is a truly fantastic UK-based humanitarian charity.”
Fender added: “It’s been a very hot and humid ride and the hills have been incredibly challenging, its been tough! But we have a clear purpose, to smash our target and we are blown away with the support we’ve received – thanks to the generosity of everyone, we have hit £1m – something we never dreamed would be possible when we started out 8 years ago.”
Darren Cormack, chief executive of MAG, commented: “The Bikes against Bombs initiative raises vital funds for MAG’s work around the world. With their support, our teams can clear even more landmines and unexploded bombs helping conflict-affected communities to live free from fear of death and injury, enabling them to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
“On behalf of everyone at MAG around the world, thanks so much for all the support – it’s truly incredible that the bike rides have now raised a staggering £1m since 2015.”