Riding her Pashley with pride - announcing our Tour de Yorkshire competition winner

Well, we couldn't have had a more deserving winner! Retired teacher Jennifer Howden can now be seen dashing around her home village of Holme-on-Spalding-Moor on her new pride and joy - a bright pink Pashley classic bike.

Jennifer and Peter with her dashing new bike
Jennifer and Peter with her dashing new bike

And she was so delighted to be selected from our Tour de Yorkshire-inspired free prize draw, she popped into our Beverley branch on her way to choose her bike from the town's Minster Cycles, to add £50 to our fundraising total.

Pictured here with Minster Cycles owner Peter Goldthorpe, who supplied the bike from his shop in Norwood, Beverley, Jennifer, said: “I’m really delighted to have won such a lovely bike and I’ll make sure it gets put to good use, helping me zip from A to B in the village!”

And it seems a fitting reward for the loyal volunteer, who can often be found helping out at the Dove House Hospice shop in Market Weighton.

Peter added: “It was our pleasure to support the Society’s Tour de Yorkshire campaign and great to see such a deserving bike winner and so much money raised for such a good cause."

An amazing month with amazing people

The competition draw marked the culmination of a month-long series of activities during which we were overwhelmed by the support and generosity of our own Society team as well as local businesses, customers - and even famous local playwright John Godber!

Together, we raised a total of £1,050 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the official Tour De Yorkshire charity, by cycling nearly 700 miles on our static exercise bike.

“We started our campaign to support the Tour and its official charity in early April, and we didn’t realise just how popular it would be,” said Beverley Building Society Chief Executive Karl Elliott.

The Society set a target of cycling 597miles, the total distance of the Tour De Yorkshire’s men’s and women’s races combined, on a static bike inside the branch in Beverley town centre.

Karl added: “We promised to donate 50p for every mile covered and were amazed to beat what seemed like a pretty daunting goal by almost 100 miles!”

Members of the public donated an extra £400 in cash, and the Air Ambulance’s status as our ‘Charity of the Month’ made it eligible for an additional £250 which, with Jennifer's kind donation, took the total to £1,050. The money will be handed over to Yorkshire Air Ambulance imminently.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone, including our own team of staff, our customers, and Tour competitors Team Jadan-Weldtite Vive le Vélo, who launched the campaign,” said Karl. “Everyone really got behind it throughout the whole month. The actual big day for Beverley at the start of the Tour was a fantastic experience. We were out on the street giving away free water bottles and money boxes, there was a brilliant community atmosphere and it felt very rewarding to be a part of the whole thing.”

Playwright and OBE John, and his daughter Elizabeth, took time out from their new production Seasons in the Sun to notch up a worthy 14 miles, inspired by a number of friends whose lives have been saved by the air ambulance. The play, written and directed by John with Elizabeth as Stage Manager, was on show at Beverley’s East Riding Theatre at the time.

Helen Callear, North Yorkshire Fundraising Manager from Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: “We were absolutely delighted to be chosen as this year’s official Tour de Yorkshire charity and for the fantastic support we received from local businesses along the route.

“The Yorkshire Air Ambulance provides life-saving emergency service to the whole of Yorkshire and the donations we receive really are the life blood of the charity. We’d like to thank all the staff and customers who got involved for their support.”

Watch this space for more details of how the Society is reaching out to our local community! If you  represent a charity or other good cause and would like to nominate it as a future Charity of the Month, write to Charity of the Month, C/O Graham Carter, Beverley Building Society, Market Place, Beverley, HU17 8AA, with a letter explaining why you think it deserves to be chosen.

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