Fundraising duo complete seven-year cycle challenge to raise £70,000 for RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A pair of dedicated lifeboat supporters from London have finally completed an epic, seven-year bid to cycle the entire coastline of Great Britain – raising over £68,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The duo, Nick Pleydell-Bouverie and Rad Hart-George, completed their 4,660 mile cycle last week arriving in London to rapturous applause from a welcome party hosted by Thames Rowing Club.

For the last seven years the two have taken time off from their jobs to cycle separate legs of the British coastline, as part of their very own “RNLI Tour of Britain”. Overall the pair have:

• Visited 192 different RNLI lifeboat stations
• Spent more than 450 hours in the saddle
• Together burned more than 840,000 calories
• Eaten a total of 76 Eccles cakes
• Climbed in excess of 175,000m, roughly 20 times the height of Everest

Their Tour of Britain was carried out in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the charity that saves lives on the River Thames and around the coastline of the UK and Republic of Ireland.

And, as if this wasn’t enough, the pair did the whole challenge entirely unsupported, carrying all of their equipment, clothing, bedding and fundraising kit in panniers on their bikes – altogether weighing an energy-sapping 40kg.

Rad, 33, explained more: ‘It’s an amazing feeling to have finally done it! Seven years ago, Nick and I came up with this rather mad idea – to cycle the entire coastline of Britain for the RNLI. Back then we were both young, free and single, much has changed in the past seven years - we now both married and both have two young children which has made negotiating for sufficient time away to complete the cycle an added dimension to the challenge.

‘Yet here we are, and last weekend we finally rolled over the finish line, right where we started in London in 2010. We are both absolutely thrilled to have raised so much for the RNLI – it’s a charity very close to our hearts and we are massively grateful to everyone who donated, put us up for the night, offered to cook us supper ensuring that every penny we raised went directly to the RNLI.’

Nick and Rad started their journey from London in 2010, cycling through Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, and Devon. In subsequent years, each time picking up where they left off, they passed through Cornwall, North Devon, Gloucestershire, Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, Scotland, Northumberland, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, before finishing back in London on Friday 29 July 2016.

Nick Pleydell-Bouverie, said: ‘It has been an amazing adventure – the planning and logistics alone have been very complicated- our 2014 Scottish leg involved coordinating over 20 ferries, some of which only sailed once per week, which if we were to miss would have caused serious consequences.

‘Our current total is over £68,000, including gift aid, and that is still growing as donations come in. We are very fortunate to get sponsorship from Knight Frank and Rackspace Cloud Hosting, both of whom have been fantastic supporters of our efforts.

Our goal is to raise £70,000 – enough to fund the annual training costs for 44 volunteer lifeboat crew members who risk their own safety to save others. Currently we have raised just over £68,000 so are appealing to everyone to help us raise the final £2,000.’

Tony Vlasto, chairman of the RNLI fundraising group, the City of London Committee, said: ‘We are indebted to Nick and Rad for such a commitment. To embark on this every year for seven years demanded very high levels of fitness, played havoc with their home lives, and cost them time and money. To do that for a charity that itself relies on the kindness of others is phenomenal. Thank you both.’

For find out more and see photos from Nick and Rad’s cycling challenge, or to make a donation, visit their blog www.thernlitourofbritain.blogspot.co.uk or their Virgin Money Giving page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TheRNLItourofBritain

RNLI media contacts

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252  tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
• Sophie Coller-Nielsen Press Officer (London/East/South East), 0207 6207416, 07824 416615 email sophie_coller-nielsen@rnli.org.uk
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland