What a ride!

A huge thank you to everyone - from our own team to customers, Tour competitors Team Jadan-Weldtite Vive le VĂ©lo, and even a renowned Hull playwright - who joined forces to help us lots of money for a very worthy cause!

Playwright John Godber doing his bit on our static bike
Playwright John Godber doing his bit on our static bike

It’s not the most common site in a local building society branch - the director and cast of the new play in town taking to a static exercise bike!

But that’s exactly what John Godber OBE and his daughter Elizabeth did to support our Tour de Yorkshire-inspired fundraiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. They were taking time out from their new production Seasons in the Sun, which is currently playing at East Riding Theatre in Beverley, written and directed by John and with Elizabeth as Stage Manager. The dedicated pair notched up 14 miles between them, the equivalent of adding to the hundreds of pounds already raised for the official Tour charity. 

And they were just one example of the huge support for our campaign, launched in early April. We set ourselves the target of cycling 597 miles, the distance of the Tour de Yorkshire, and promised to donate 50p for every mile covered to the charity.

Target, what target?

We didn't anticipate just how it would take off and, thanks to everyone's input, we beat our goal - which had seemed daunting at the outset - by almost 100 miles!

By the end of the Tour, we had completed a whopping 690.62 miles. Not only that, but our generous customers and their friends donated an extra £399.58 - £53 of that collected by the team at town's Tesco store. Not only that, but members also picked Yorkshire Air Ambulance as our Charity of the Month for April, making it eligible for a further £250 from the Society. As all of this added up to a grand total of £994.58, we've rounded it up to £1,000, which will be handed over to YAA imminently.

A cause close to all our hearts

John Godber had his own personal reasons for wanting to help out. He said: “I’m really delighted to support the Society’s fundraising appeal because I have a number of friends who’ve had their lives saved by Yorkshire Air Ambulance, when they’ve been involved in accidents.

“And of course, I’ve become quite used to biking as a result of Scary Bikers. I think my wife Jane and I cycled about 1,900 miles, equivalent to the distance between here and Gran Canaria, over the 15 weeks of that show’s run!"

Scary Bikers is a comedy about love, life and Britain’s pending divorce from Europe, and Joh and Jane played the lead roles of widower Don and widow Carol, whose love of cycling brings them together by chance and takes them on a cycling trip of mutual self-discovery, covering topics ranging from bereavement to Brexit with John’s trademark mixture of humour and poignancy.

Seasons in the Sun is set in the summer of 1974 and centred on teenagers Spag and Paul, who are awaiting their A-Level results and facing a bright future. But a job as relief dustbin-men dampens their artistic ambitions. It is billed as a hilarious 'fish out of water' comedy about women, waste and walking the streets and is running at Beverley’s East Riding Theatre until 19 May, before embarking on a nationwide tour.

Part of something special

The Tour de Yorkshire has become one of the biggest events in the sport over recent years, and both the men’s and women’s races started virtually outside the Society’s doors, in Beverley's Market Place, on Thursday 3 May.

Deciding this was an opportunity not to be missed – and with a number of cycling fans among our own team – we felt we had to contribute to the positive community atmosphere. Women's team competitors Team Jadan-Weldtite Vive le Vélo kicked off the charity push in our branch, testing out the static challenge bike and having their photos taken with the Beverley team.

As well as raising funds through our bike challenge and donations from customers, our enthusiastic team decked out the branch in the famous blue and yellow Tour colours, and we joined forces with the local Minster Cycles shop in Norwood to give away a bike worth up to £500 to the winner of a special Tour prize draw.

And we were out and about at the start of the Tour handing out giveaways including water bottles featuring our special Tour strapline, ‘with you for the ride’.

Society Chief Executive Karl Elliott said: “Taking an active role in supporting our local community is at the heart of our purpose, and as the Tour de Yorkshire is one of the most popular events in the Beverley calendar, we felt that we just had to be involved.

“A number of our team are also keen cyclists themselves, so it’s been great to have the opportunity to help celebrate this special event, and put in a few miles in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance at the same time.

“We’re absolutely amazed and so grateful for the way our own team and members of our Beverley community have supported our initiative, and having people like Team Jadan and John and Elizabeth Godber visit us  and do their bit was just the icing on the cake.”

Helen Callear, North Yorkshire Fundraising Manager from Yorkshire Air Ambulance, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been chosen as this year’s Official Tour de Yorkshire Charity and for the fantastic support we have received so far 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 Society staff, customers and contacts who got involved for their support!”

Each year, the Tour de Yorkshire (TDY) attracts millions of roadside spectators and hundreds of global broadcasters to watch hundreds of world-class athletes compete on Yorkshire’s roads. As a result, Beverley experiences a huge influx of local, national and even international visitors around the time of the Tour and is the focus of massive attention as a celebration of all that’s best about our region.

Look out for our announcement of who has won our Tour de Yorkshire bike competition soon - and if you represent a community cause that you feel might deserve to be a future 'Charity of the Month', write in and tell us why to Charity of the Month Applications, Beverley Building Society, 57 Market Place, Beverley, HU17 8AA.

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