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Torbay postie delivers in fundraiser

James Trenchard, a Royal Mail postman from Torbay is taking on this year’s British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton Bike Ride on an old 1950s style postie bike to raise money for the charity.

This Father’s Day, Sunday 16th June, the 35-year-old and 23 other Royal Mail colleagues will join 12,000 cyclists taking on the scenic, hilly 54-mile route – but James will be the only one doing it on a three quarters of a century old postal bike.

A keen cyclist, James was inspired to help the BHF’s cause through the ride by his colleagues who have suffered cardiac issues in recent months.

James said: “I heard about the bike ride through work as Royal Mail is a BHF partner. I thought that just doing the ride on its own wouldn’t be enough of a challenge for me as I’m already a cyclist, so I decided to add to the difficulty of it! I will be cycling on an old-fashioned postie bike which doesn’t have any suspension and only three gears! Getting up hills is very hard on the legs so Ditchling Beacon could be a struggle!”

Funds raised by James’ cycling challenge will contribute to the £2 million the BHF and Royal Mail aim to raise throughout their four-year partnership.

Together, these iconic British brands are working to raise funds for the Community Hearts Programme and train 100,000 Royal Mail colleagues in CPR via the BHF’s RevivR tool.

During the first year of the partnership, Royal Mail colleague fundraising enabled the BHF’s Heart Helpline to be switched to a freephone number. Since 1st June 2023, the public no longer pay call charges for seeking support from an experienced cardiac nurse, making heart health information and guidance more accessible than ever.

Having been a postman in South Devon for three years, James really feels he has found his calling.

He continued: “I feel very proud to be taking on the challenge with 23 other colleagues from Royal Mail, especially on this bike. Whilst it may be a challenge, it feels like a real honour getting to showcase a classic postie bike throughout the 54-mile route – and hopefully raise some awareness.”

James has taken the bike out for several practice rides to ensure he gets familiar with the 1950s style before the big day but admits: “I’m worried about some of the mechanical issues, but the bike has such a massive basket that I can fit all my tools and equipment in it, so there’s a benefit to it!”

Roisin Atkinson, Senior Events Manager at the BHF said: “Having a 1950s postie bike on the route is a first for us here at the BHF and how lucky we are to get to see it! We’re so grateful for James for taking on this pretty momentous challenge to help fund our lifesaving research into heart and circulatory conditions.

“There are around 7.6 million people in the UK currently living with heart conditions. The money raised by our London to Brighton Bike Ride, goes into helping fund the next medical breakthroughs that could help people like James’ colleagues. We wish James the very best of luck on the day and can’t wait to see him cross the finish line!”

This is the event’s 47th year of running, making it the oldest bike ride in Europe. Taking part this year is also GB Olympic athlete Ellie Downie and notable scientist, Sir Patrick Vallance.

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