Father of two, Richard Gibbard, takes on three day, 317km, Tour of the Roses cycle challenge to help raise money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers

Father of two takes on 317km Tour of the Roses challenge for Scotty’s

Father of two, Richard Gibbard, is set to take on the challenging Tour of the Roses bike ride this weekend (18th – 22nd September), all to raise money to help support hundreds of bereaved British Armed Forces children up and down the country.

The 43-year-old solicitor, from Surbiton in Surrey, was inspired to raise money for national bereaved Armed Forces children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, after visiting the charity’s Remembrance garden at the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in 2015.

The medal winning garden was adorned with messages of remembrance from children who had lost a parent serving in the Armed Forces, and this really struck a chord with Richard. He said: “At the time I’d just had a little boy and I remember reading the messages and thinking one day, if I ever do anything for charity, I’ll make sure I raise money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, and for the children who had gone through the incredible heartache of losing a parent so young.”

Set up in 2010, Scotty’s Little Soldiers supports hundreds of children and young people who have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces. The charity was founded by war widow Nikki Scott after her husband, Corporal Lee Scott was killed in Afghanistan the previous year, leaving behind two young children.

The charity does lots of things to support its members, including providing access to the very best health and wellbeing care, offering educational support, and delivering outstanding development opportunities through a range of activity and educational grants. Scotty’s also helps put smiles back on those brave faces by providing respite breaks, posting the children birthday and Christmas presents and remembering the anniversary of their parent’s death, as well as arranging events where bereaved Forces children from all over the UK come together to have a great time and form friendships with kids in the same situation.

In recent months, the charity has had to adapt to the current climate and has been using modern technology to arrange exciting virtual events and activities to engage with its members, ensuring them that in uncertain times such as these they are not alone. They’ve also been providing a high volume of wellbeing support to families who are suffering from enhanced anxiety and other problems due to the current health crisis.

For Richard, whose children are now eight and five years old, being able to help at such a challenging time was what drove him to sign up to the Tour of the Roses.

The event takes place over three days, starting today (18th). Richard will be cycling 317km in total including 6,000m of climbing up some of the most beautiful, and punishing terrain in the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, and the Forest of Bowland.

Richard, along with the 20 strong group of other cyclists taking part, will be based in Kendal throughout, and across the three days will tackle eight of the country’s 100 greatest cycling climbs.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to it. I have got back in to cycling over the last few years and needed something to push me in to some serious training. I came across this event and decided I was going to go for it. It will definitely be tough, but I know I’ll feel great after I’ve done it.”

Richard has set himself a challenge of raising £1,000 for Scotty’s Little Soldiers and is already a quarter of the way there.

Scotty’s founder, Nikki said: “This is an incredible challenge Richard is taking on and we all wish him the best of luck. It’s lovely to hear his memories of visiting us at Hampton Court Palace, and that even after 5 years, the messages from our members are still with him. The last few months have been challenging and our fundraisers have been amazing with their support, we couldn’t have got through the last few months without them.”

To support Richard’s fundraising visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-gibbard1

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