Bryn Thompson, a dentist from North London, is planning a fundraising bike ride from 10 Downing Street to Cumbria after being touched by the plight of flood victims in the area.
Bryn explained: “I was sat on my sofa at home watching the floods on the news on TV and it really affected me. I’m not from a farming background but I take a keen interest in rural affairs and my brother-in-law’s parents are beef farmers near the Somerset Levels. To see the effects of the devastating floods was soul-destroying for me. I thought that rather than just donate £20 to the cause, I could do much more by getting other people to join in.”
But the bike ride is just part of the story. Funds raised from Bryn’s mission will go towards the production of a charity cookbook called Up To Our Necks which features recipes donated by Cumbrian farming flood victims, as well as celebrities such as former Coronation Street actress Wendi Peters, TV presenters Julia Bradbury and Helen Skelton and Michelin star chef Glyn Purnell.
All of the money raised from the cookbook will be donated to R.A.B.I and Eden Flood Volunteers in support of work helping those affected by the winter floods. R.A.B.I has already paid out emergency grants of £85,000 to flood victims since December 2015 and continues to help those in need.
Farmland Magazine have agreed to design and put the book together for free. All that was needed was the money to cover print costs; hence Bryn’s cycle ride.
Bryn’s pal, Robert Wassell, who first got him into cycling, will accompany him on the ride. They’ll depart from Downing Street at around 08.45 on May 4 and will be waved off by Liz Truss, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Liz Truss’s involvement was secured through Bryn’s local Conservative MP. Bryn added: “The support I’ve had for both the cycle ride and the cookbook has been just incredible. Having cycled the coast-to-coast route before the floods, it motivated me to ride once more through this beautiful land.”
The pair will arrive at the finish in Pooley Bridge, Penrith, at around 14:00 on May 8. We wish them both the very best of luck and thank everyone involved for dedicating their time and resources to this fantastic project.