Epic ride raises funds for farmers

The I'Anson team set off early to complete the 153 miles in just one day. (S)
The I'Anson team set off early to complete the 153 miles in just one day. (S)

A team of eight employees from I’Anson, the Masham-based animal feed firm, set off early on Tuesday to complete two legs of an epic round-UK charity bike ride.

The cycle relay is organised by the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) and is intended to raise £100,000 for the Farming Community Network (FCN), which supports farmers and their families in hardship across the UK.

The Grain And Feed Tour (GAFT) Charity Bike Ride left Westminster on June 20 after meeting Defra minister George Eustice, and will criss-cross the United Kingdom, taking in 171 participating feed mills, ports, grain stores and supply trade businesses, before finishing at the National Farmers’ Union headquarters in Warwickshire, on July 31.

The I’Anson team rode 53 miles to Apheya Animal Nutrition in Consett, County Durham, before continuing another 100 miles to Berwick-on-Tweed where the team ‘passed the baton’ to McCreath-Simpson-Prentice Ltd.

The team was led by managing director Chris I’Anson, who had just come back from another gruelling charity ride, where his team of two rode the length of New Zealand’s two main islands in just 19 days.

He said: “At I’Anson we relish a challenge and we are proud to support farmers across North Yorkshire and the rest of the country.

“The Farming Community Network volunteers make a positive difference to the lives of thousands of families every year by talking with and advising those who are isolated and in difficulty.”

The FCN helps farmers tackle a range of problems such as financial distress, family disputes and mental health. Staffed by a force of 400 volunteers nationwide, the charity tackles around 2,500 cases each year, helping 6,000 farmers and dependants resolve their business and personal issues.

Richard Cooksley, co-organiser of the GAFT ride, said: “The supply trade is working together tremendously to raise the profile of the Farming Community Network. We are indebted to I’Anson for their support and in undertaking such a long and difficult leg.”

Donations to the GAFT bike ride can be made on the JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GAFT