VISITORS to this weekend’s Sunderland International Airshow can help Forces personnel in an epic charity challenge.
RAF Wings Appeal participants will be using pedal power to cycle “around the world” on static bikes.
Having mapped out a route of about 46,000 miles that links all the countries across the globe where RAF personnel are currently deployed, the team is cycling the miles throughout this summer at different events.
Members of the public can donate £2 for 10 minutes on the bike.
People can also show their support by cycling in their own time either on their own bikes or in the gym and then informing the Wings Appeal team of the distance covered which will then be added to the overall total.
Money raised by the appeal will go towards a number of good causes, including the Miles More Minutes campaign, which provides personnel serving overseas with more telephone time to call their loved ones back home.
With the use of mobile phones being prohibited for those who are deployed in war zones such as Afghanistan, serving personnel are currently given four-and-a-half minutes of talk time per day on an MoD phoneline.
An amount of £20 a month can provide one person with six extra minutes a day to call home.
Rachel Huxford, director of fund-raising for the RAF Association, said: “Cycling has proven to be a really popular activity this year, with many people choosing to take on cycle challenges to raise money for the Wings Appeal, which is one of the reasons we decided to set ourselves, and the rest of the public, this enormous task.
“Following the success of the Eastbourne to Afghanistan challenge that we ran last year, we’re hoping that this will really capture the public’s imagination and that we will see plenty of willing volunteers ready to cycle a few miles for a good cause.”
For more information on the charity’s work go to www.rafa.org.uk
To make a donation to the round the world static bike challenge visit virginmoneygiving.com/onyourbikefortheRAF
THE Sunderland International Airshow 2011 kicks off on Friday.
Rock legends 10CC will perform at Cliffe Park, Roker, shortly after 7pm.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday famous aircraft will take to the skies above Sunderland.
Exhibitions, stalls and refreshments will also be held for visitors to enjoy across the weekend.