Some of you may recall that earlier this year, I joined 300 or so other people, mostly Huddersfield Town Football Club fans, on a bike ride labelled “Pedal For Pounds 3”. The ride was in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s “Keep It Up” Campaign, together with Huddersfield Town’s Youth Academy. It heralded the third consecutive season of HTFC’s aim to raise as much money as possible for KIU by hosting a mammoth bike ride.
The YAA is funded entirely through voluntary contributions, so is reliant upon fundraising in the community. Serving the whole of Yorkshire, some 5 million residents, it has been in existence since 2000. It has two helicopters and requires the funding of over £ 2.5 Million per year to keep them flying. Nevertheless, it is now seen as an essential part of the emergency services in the region and in its time, has saved countless lives. Please read more about this fantastic charity at www.yorkshireairambulance.org.uk
The P4P idea was born back in 2009, when the new chairman of Huddersfield Town, Dean Hoyle, stated his desire to take Huddersfield Town into the community, make it more accessible and, most importantly, give back to the community in various ways. One such way was to form a partnership with the YAA, with an aim to raise as much money as possible for the Yorkshire charity.
During the close season of 2009, Dean said that he and several of the Huddersfield Town staff would cycle to the first away match of the season, wherever it might be. When the fixture list was unveiled, several gasped as the club’s first away match was to be at Southend, way down in Essex. Nevertheless, 22 intrepid (if not unwillingly cajoled) people embarked on the journey and eventually, Dean and the others arrived at Southend in time for kick-off.
The event was a massive success and set the club on the way to achieving its aim, inspiring more and more community activities, all with the aim of raising money for the charity. It was obvious there would be a follow up the following season and eventually, it came – the final away match of the 2010-2011 season –Brighton!! Pedal For Pounds 2 was opened up to the fans and saw a clan of around 150 made the journey south and it was heralded as yet another triumph when they arrived on the south coast in time for kick-off.
And so to P4P3 and again, a big increase in numbers, with some 300 people registering. Together, we rode over 250 miles over three days, from Yeovil in Somerset, back to Huddersfield, in some of the worst weather imaginable. Two of the days included over 12 hours in the saddle, through cold weather and driving rain, with nothing but flapjack for comfort!!! Still, on Saturday 6 May, we arrived at the Galpharm Stadium, exhausted but proud.
As things stand, I await news of P4P4. The fixture list shows Bristolas being the last away match, so maybe this will be the destination? Rumours abound, but until an official announcement is made, watch this space. For now, they have already announced a “Walk For Pounds” event in November, where people will walk from the stadium to Barnsley, a total of 19 miles!
And so to the purpose of my blog! Huddersfield Town has just announced, with immense pride, that the Yeovil ride surpassed all expectations and raised over £250,000 for the YAA! In fact, all events held last season raised a whopping £340,000, taking the total raised over the three seasons to £ 711,000. Its aim now is to reach £1,000,000 by the end of this season and with the club’s ambition, who’s going to bet against them achieving it?
I personally raised over £1100 to this great and as such would like to say a personal thank you to every one of you who supported me and donated to this great cause.