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Pedal power helps officers raise money for Northampton charity

Three Northamptonshire Police officers have completed a 240-mile charity bike ride to Belgium to raise money for a charity working to relieve poverty and tackle homelessness.

PCs Richard Bathe, Jonathan Meadwell and Gareth Cox set off from Northampton University on Thursday, 6 July, as part of Northampton Hope Centre’s Ride for Hope.

After riding 80 miles each day they arrived at the Menin Gate in Ypres on Saturday, 8 July, where they donned full ceremonial uniform to lay a wreath to mark the centenary of the First World War.

PC Meadwell, of the Integrated Offender Management Unit in Kettering, said: “The weather was stunning – perhaps a bit too stunning! The heat was a bit energy-sapping and the hills were bigger than might have been mentioned beforehand but the ride was very well run and we had a great time.”

The first stage saw the ride stop overnight in Enfield, with the second night’s stop in Canterbury before the cyclists crossed from Dover to Calais.

PC Meadwell said: “Once we got to France it was a case of going as quickly as we could to Ypres, and we arrived with 20 minutes to get changed before the wreath laying, with our legs feeling like lead!”

The trio laid their wreath on behalf of Northamptonshire Police, alongside representatives from the Hope Centre and the High Sheriff of Northampton.

PC Meadwell said: “There’s a ceremony at the Menin Gate every night, with buglers playing the Last Post. There was a choir singing as well while we were there so it was all quite emotional.

“Now we’re back there’s a real sense of achievement. Even driving 80 miles takes ages so I’m very pleased to have done this ride and cycled that distance each day, especially for such a good cause.”

The trio have so far raised just over £1,500 and have been supported by Northamptonshire Police Sports Club which made a donation towards their team cycling kit.

Donations to support their efforts can be made at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/garethcox442  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jonathan-meadwell1  

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