Derbyshire volunteer backs charity ride in aid of Army cadet training courses
An adult volunteer with Derbyshire Army Cadet Force counted on pedal power as he supported officers on a countrywide mission to aid a charity which funds training for young people.
Second Lieutenant Paul Thomas, the commander of Ticknall detachment, joined a nationwide Army Cadet Force Association (ACFA) Cycle Challenge on its Derbyshire leg.
And the experience has spurred Paul into organising a fundraiser for his own Derbyshire company this month.
The marathon ride saw a core team of Major Richard Walton and Lieutenant Colonel Terry Hayter cycle the length and breadth of the UK to visit every regional headquarters, with members of local ACFs joining for day rides.
Proceeds from the sponsored ride will go to the Matthew Bacon Bursary Fund, which is used to fund adventurous training courses for those cadets who need a little more support than others.
Paul said: “I heard about the Matthew Bacon Bursary Fund money-raiser through my chain of command and being a keen cyclist since my teens jumped on the opportunity to promote awareness of this important ACF fund.
“Having completed a coast-to-coast ride, I know the determination it takes to spend several days in the saddle, and so I wanted to help Lieutenant Colonel Hayter and Major Walton complete what was their longest distance so far: 110 miles.”
Paul added: “Everyone’s capable of cycling at least a few miles on a bike so we should all get behind next year’s fundraising to ensure the Matthew Bacon Bursary Fund can award a greater number of scholarships to cadets.
“Challenges that are enjoyable and give a sense of achievement align with the ACF’s ethos.
“After hearing about the bike challenge I was inspired to organise my own and so I’ve planned a company fundraiser for Derbyshire ACF in June.”
Major Matthew Bacon was an Army cadet who joined the service in 1988 and was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005.
The fund was started by his father in order to ensure other young people receive the same opportunities he had.
You can find more details about the Matthew Bacon Bursary Fund via: https://armycadets.com/about-us/acf-structure/the-acfa/grants-for-cfavs-and-cadets/mbb/
If you wish to donate to the challenge you can do so at: https://mydonate.bt.com/teams/acf-bike-challenge.
To find out more about joining Derbyshire ACF as an adult volunteer or a cadet visit www.armycadets.com