Photo: The Riding for Ray team pictured at the start
A team of cyclists have raised more than £8,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance by tracing the final journey of a much-loved father and friend.
Ray Yeo, from Goring, was helping a neighbour put up a car port when he fell from a step ladder earlier this year.
He was flown to the specialist neurological centre at St George’s Hospital in London but sadly passed away, leaving his wife Jill and their children Sean, Stephen and Sarah.
Friends Steve Dunlop and Jason Leith, and Ray’s sons, decided to raise funds for the charity helicopter by cycling from Ray’s home to St George’s and back.
Steve, 46, from Littlehampton, said: “Without the air ambulance getting him to St George’s so quickly there wouldn’t have been any hope at all.
“Ray really was such a great bloke who would always help anybody out which was exactly what he was doing when he had his accident – helping a neighbour to put up a car port.
“I, like many others, miss Ray so very much so I decided to try to do something in his memory…tracing his journey by cycling from his home to St George’s and then home – the journey that he wasn’t able to make.”
The team set off on their “Riding for Ray” challenge at 6am last month and completed the 120-mile round trip in eight hours.
In total, they have so far raised £8,161 – 16 times their £500 target - and can still be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/Steve-Dunlop68/
Each air ambulance callout costs about £2,500 so the substantial sum raised is enough to help potentially save three lives.
Community Fundraising Officer Veronica Wiseman said: “We are enormously grateful to Ray’s family and friends for their fantastic fundraising efforts.”
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for cyclists to enter its annual bike ride on September 27th. The Double 100 Cycle Challenge is a 100-mile or 100km ride which starts and finishes at the helicopter bases at Marden and Redhill. This year, there is also a 25-mile route to mark the charity’s Silver Jubilee. To enter, go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/involved/double100