FAA museum hosts first SSAFA cycle ride
The Fleet Air Arm Museum hosted the SSAFA Cycle Ride on Sunday, 28 September. Sponsored by BAE Systems, the cyclists set off for a 48-miles route around south Somerset. This is the first SSAFA event of its kind in the area and, combined with excellent weather, proved a success.
The first group of cyclists set off at 1000 with the final group departing at 1200 with Royal Navy Chaplain, Martin Evans, managing to make the last departure time having just finished taking the Sunday service at the Fleet AirArm Memorial Churchin Yeovilton Village. The 48-mile course provided the regular and more competitive cyclist with enough of a challenge including the must-have elevations combined with some decent sprint opportunities.
Plans are already afoot with the Fleet Air Arm Museum to host this event again next year. Thanks go to: BAE Systems; KingsSchool, Bruton (water point 1); the Natterjack Pub in Evercreech (water point 2); Commodore Jock Alexander OBE for his endorsement; and RNAS Yeovilton personnel and others for supporting this event.
This was a particularly important event organised at a local level where SSAFA’s teams of trained volunteers continue to work hard to ensure that help and advice are always close at hand. Last year alone, the RNAS Yeovilton Service Committee supported a number of service personnel and their families with housing issues, flood damage repairs and other compassionate cases in our local com munity.
SSAFA’s long history of supporting the Forces and their families has made it Britain’s most trusted charity (Charity Brand Index 2012 Third Sector Research). The charity is increasingly helping younger veterans; Last year, SSAFA supported 3,812 veterans and their families in their 20s and 30s.
Patricia Hymas ,Chairman of SSAFA Service Committee said:
“This SSAFA cycle ride provided an opportunity for cycling enthusiasts to meet other like-minded individuals for an event that maintains fitness while giving the cardio-vascular system a good workout. It is widely acknowledged that cycling is one of the best ways for people to achieve good health, fitness and wellbeing. SSAFA has supported our Forces and their families for more than 125 years but the work we do now is more vital than ever before. It’s really important that those who serve and those who used to serve in our Forces know that SSAFA is here for them and their families for life.
Cyclists in images L to R: Oli Hymas, Steve Price, Conor Campbell, Tim Watkins, Etonia Suraki, Steve Baker and Lyall Jones.