The incredible Douglas Gowans has planned to ride a Raleigh Chopper bike from coast to coast this June, his journey will take him from Whitehaven to Tynemouth - a full distance of 136 miles. All the money raised from this challenge will be going to the RAF Benevolent Fund to mark the RAF centenary year.
We have loaned Douglas a limited edition Chopper to complete his challenge and to support the cause he working so hard to benefit. You can see his special edition bike below:
Douglas was a driver in the RAF from 1986 to 1990 and it's had a positive impact on his life. He tells his story below:
I was a driver in the RAF between 1986 - 1990. Not a long duration, and many years ago now, but the RAF has had a lasting impact on my life since, in a positive way.
I made many true friends, people that I still keep in touch with to this day. The Armed Forces is much more than a job, it is a brother/sister hood. It never leaves you.
On a recent reunion, a former boss asked me what I planned to do to mark the RAF, s centenary year, and added that several former team members were completing charity events to raise money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
To this end, I am going to be cycling a child's Raleigh Chopper bike from Coast to Coast. Over 12/13/14th June I will be riding from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, a distance of 136 miles. This will be to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The fund rely totally on charitable donations. They support existing and ex service personnel, and dependants.
An example of this involved a work colleague of mine who upon retiring from 34 years in the Police Force, serving the public was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My friend had been an RAF Policewoman many years before.
Towards the end of Ann's life she discharged herself from the hospice and her husband took her home.
Understandably, this was a dreadful, sad time for both of them. I contacted the fund, and in her husband's words "the biggest bunch of flowers I have ever seen have arrived". After the funeral, Jack told me that the wording on the enclosed card moved Ann, and gave here some comfort in her darkest hour. The words were " Ann, we are so sorry to hear of your situation, but please remember, you were and always will be part of the Royal Air Force family. Our thoughts are with you both". This small act, I know lifted them both, just when they needed it. This is one example of the work that is carried out by the fund.
We're sure you'll agree that everything Douglas is doing is wonderful and we will be supporting him throughout his journey in June - we hope you can join us! Keep an eye on the blog and our social media for updates. Remember you can donate to this challenge and wonderful cause on his JustGiving page.