Bedford Blues winger, Pat Tapley – who has waited months for his 100th Blues cap – is raising money for the Blues Foundation with a mammoth 100-mile cycle ride on Christmas Day.
The endurance test caps off a successful if challenging first year for the charity arm of the Blues, with a number of initiatives proving successful despite the restrictions of lockdown.
Tapley, who is the longest serving current player having joined in 2013/14 from Cambridge, aims to raise money for the Foundation and Biddenham based, St James’ Primary School.
Speaking about the charity ride, Pat said: “We all know how hard 2020 has been and the strain people are under. Hopefully, by raising money through this challenge, some of this strain can be alleviated.
“Blues Foundation have been doing some amazing work and any contribution to further their impact in the community is something I want to be a part of.
“St James Primary, like most schools across the country, are having to adapt to these new circumstances. So, these funds will go towards resources that will enable the teaching staff to continue providing quality education.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge and fingers crossed for some good weather on Christmas Day.”
The Foundation’s latest work came just this weekend, with a number of volunteers collecting for the Bedford Foodbank at Goldington Road.
UK-wide charity, The Children’s Society, estimate that 850,000 families are struggling with the cost of food due to the pandemic, with the Blues Foundation linking up with Bedford Foodbank to help the community as much as they can.
The volunteers (pictured above) took a variety of non-perishable items on Saturday which will go towards the festive donations, which are often stretched to the limit over Christmas and New Year.
Since launching in April, the Blues Foundation has already had a positive impact on the physical and mental health of over 500 members of the Bedford community.
The charitable arm launched with a pilot scheme with local charity MK SNAP and have since made links with other charities such as Autism Bedfordshire, Team BEDS&LUTON and Sport England.
The enterprise and the challenges continue into the new year, with ‘TRY January’ the latest idea to aid the health and wellbeing of Bedfordians across the borough.
With 31 days in January, the aim is to run 31 kilometres throughout the month, all while raising money for the Foundation.
The Blues Foundation manager, Tom Harwood spoke to Bedford Independent on the latest activity for the charity:
“We are asking all those who participate in the challenge to donate £31 to the Foundation so we can continue rolling out our projects and making a positive impact to people across the county.
“We encourage everyone to challenge a friend to take on DRY January, share the message of our charitable work and share your efforts across social media with the hashtag #DRYJanuary.”
With other projects already in full flow, including the ABILITY project that allows disabled youngsters a route into sport, 2021 promises to be a busy and productive year for the Blues Foundation.
For more information on a range of projects or you would like to take your fundraising even further, please contact Tom Harwood on firstname.lastname@example.org.