PRIME Minister David Cameron backed an annual charity bike ride in aid of Katharine House Hospice by allowing cyclists to set off from his home at Number Ten Downing Street.
In April, 30 cyclists from the Tite Inn in Chadlington cycled a route of more than 120 miles from London back to the village in aid of the hospice and the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind. The two-day cycle ride raised £11,000 to be shared between the charities, which was presented to representatives by Mr Cameron at the end of last month.
As MP for Chipping Norton, Mr Cameron was once a regular participant in the ride and promised if he was elected Prime Minister he would allow the event to begin from Downing Street.
Event organiser Richard Greaves said: “David has proved himself to be a politician who keeps his promises. Thanks to him we all enjoyed a special treat and privilege; being in Downing Street and photographed outside Number Ten on the doorstep where so many other special people have stood.”
The bike ride is an annual event at the pub and in recent years has been renamed The Mike Ride in memory of the pub’s former landlord Mike Willis, who organised the event.
This year was the first time the event had set off from Downing Street and Mr Cameron said: “Every rider deserves congratulations on raising so much money for these two wonderful charities. It’s great The Mike Ride will continue. I always enjoyed taking part and Mike deserves so much credit for instigating this wonderful, local community event.”
Hospice fundraising manager Sue Lane said: “David Cameron has been involved with the Chadlington bike ride for many years and we have been appreciative of his support.
“We were thrilled to learn we would once again be a beneficiary of the proceeds this year and we are grateful to all the cyclists who tackled the tough 120-mile ride. Starting from Downing Street must have been very special and the funds raised by our supporters will help enormously in the provision of unique nursing care for our patients.”