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Cycling the length of Britain for Heroes.

AC Goatham & Son is delighted to be supporting an amazing cycling challenge which takes place during May and aims to raise £20,000 for Help for Heroes #HelpingHand @CycleToRecovery.

A group of three military veterans in their 40’s and 60’s with mental and physical injuries will be cycling 1400 miles across the UK, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, visiting every Help for Heroes Recovery Centre on the way, especially poignant as it is the charity’s tenth year.

Lee Patmore, a naval veteran who uses a wheelchair, will be taking on the challenge in a recumbent hand cycle will be joined by Stephen Craddock, 59 a Royal Engineers veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Brent New and Brian Kilgannon, who served 23 years in the Royal Marines and who also suffers from PTSD. 

Help for Heroes was founded in 2007 to provide direct, practical support for wounded, injured and sick service personnel, veterans and their loved ones. Stephen Craddock is one of the charity’s largest single fundraisers, having organised a number of large events that have raised a total of £376,000 to date.

For any fully able cyclist the Land’s End to John O’Groats 900-mile route is daunting. By adding four Help for Heroes recovery centres as well as Hedley Court to the route, Lee’s journey on a recumbent hand-bike will be a serious challenge, besides a further 500 miles and a total of 63,000ft of climbing.

Stephen says of his 2017 ‘Cycle 2 Recovery’ challenge: “PTSD took me to some very dark places for many years and it badly affected my life and the lives of those closest to me. I self-medicated through fundraising, organising events and cycling. I ride 150 miles every week to keep my condition at bay. If it wasn’t for cycling, I wouldn’t be here.

“Help for Heroes supports serving and reservist personnel and veterans who have suffered injuries or illness as a result of their service to the nation and so we are here to show what guys can do when they work together, as well as raise awareness of overcoming mental and physical issues. The charity also helps their close family and dependants.

Stephen continues: “It is all about demonstrating that injuries, disabilities and illnesses are no bar to leading an active, independent and fulfilling life. It will also demonstrate that despite being diagnosed with a mental health issues, you can still go out there and achieve amazing things and support those around you. The joy of riding with veterans is not about speed but being with other people who are overcoming their physical and mental wounds; sharing our individual stories as we’re riding”.

As well as raising money for Help for Heroes Lee, Stephen and Brian have selected other charities that they hope can benefit from their efforts. They are Aspire, The Kent Sports Trust and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Association.