Call for Norfolk fundraisers to ride alongside heroes to boost Help For Heroes

PUBLISHED: 07:23 23 April 2014 | UPDATED: 08:24 23 April 2014

Chris Perry, of Swanton Morley, will cycle nearly 400 miles along the line of the Western Front, through Flanders Fields from Brussels to Paris, for Help For Heroes.

Chris Perry, of Swanton Morley, will cycle nearly 400 miles along the line of the Western Front, through Flanders Fields from Brussels to Paris, for Help For Heroes.


The route of the First World War retreat in 1914 from Brussels to Paris will be retraced for charity. This is just one of many ways to support Help for Heroes, reports Sam Russell

They work tirelessly to support our wounded servicemen and women, but they need your help to do it.

Bosses at Armed Forces charity Help for Heroes aim to smash last year’s fundraising record by drumming up £1.5m on this year’s Hero Ride.

The maiden event last year saw £1.1m raised, and the bike ride has found support from superstars of the cycling world.

Mark Cavendish, who is a Hero Ride 2014 ambassador, said: “The Hero Ride is an amazing opportunity to cycle alongside our wounded men and women and to hear their inspirational stories.

“I’ve seen how Help for Heroes supports them and their families, and in 2014 that support is going to be more important than ever.

“I’d urge anyone who has ever thought about doing something life-changing or challenging to do their bit and sign up to the Hero Ride 2014.”

He said he hoped to take part in the event this year and to raise as much as possible.

More than 1,300 people of all ages and abilities took part last year to support the thousands of people who are living with life-changing injuries and illnesses sustained while serving our country.

Hero Ride 2014 will see 2,000 riders setting off from all points of the compass, including the 300 who will join the signature Big Battlefield Bike Ride, following the route of the First World War retreat in 1914 from Brussels to Paris.

Bryn Parry, co-founder of Help for Heroes, said: “Troops may be withdrawing from Afghanistan, but our support will be there for those who are injured and their families, for life.

“Our ambition is for Hero Ride 2014 to be bigger and better than ever before and I would like to see the British public continue with their generosity for our heroes.

“Cycle with us, donate to our good cause and show your support with pride.”

He said 10,535 British men and women were injured in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and charity Combat Stress estimates that 40,000 will suffer from some form of invisible injury over the coming years.

Funds raised by Hero Ride 2014 will allow Help for Heroes to continue to deliver direct support to service personnel and veterans.

There are many other ways to support the charity, including attending the Norfolk Show Ball at the Norfolk Showground on June 20.

The event will boost Help

for Heroes among other charities.

People are also encouraged to organise charity events involving baking cakes, shaving heads, parachuting, trekking, cycling, running and much more to raise money for our wounded.

For help with organising an event, text HERO to 60777 and someone at the charity will call you back for a chat. (Texts cost standard message charge).

To make an immediate donation,


Former Norfolk soldier raises funds

Before becoming a headteacher, Chris Perry served in Operation Desert Storm.

It was a conflict which saw many cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Mr Perry knows how important it is for servicemen and women to be supported.

The 49-year-old, of Swanton Morley, has completed many challenges for Help for Heroes (H4H) and has been fundraising with a static bike ahead of the Big Battlefield Bike Ride.

“It’s amazing how generous people are, and how close to their hearts this charity has become,” said Mr Perry, who is headteacher at Beeston Primary School. “The pedalling in the supermarkets and the quiz we held in Swanton Morley Village Hall has raised over £2,200 in just two weekends.”

He will take part in the Big Battlefield Bike Ride in June, which covers almost 400 miles from Brussels to Paris and is a major fund-raising event for H4H.

The journey across Belgium and France coincides with the centenary of the First World War, and will be a physical challenge and an emotional journey.

“By riding together with wounded servicemen and women we are supporting them and recognising the sacrifices that they have made today,” said Mr Perry.

“And through our fundraising we are helping to support their recovery for life.”

Mr Perry joined the Royal Artillery in 1983 and was posted to Germany, before becoming a liaison officer with the American army in the Gulf


He held the rank of Captain when he left the Armed Forces in 1993.

In advance of the main challenge he plans to do more fundraising in Morrisons stores in Norwich and Fakenham with his static bike.

And later this year he will lead a sponsored trek up Mount Snowdon with friends to raise the H4H flag.

To sponsor Mr Perry, see

Bike ride routes

The Help for Heroes signature ride, now in its seventh year, is the Big Battlefield Bike Ride that will cover 335 miles between Brussels and Paris.

Riders will then be transported back to London for a huge grand finale.

This year there will also be

some UK-based rides leaving from Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff and from the recovery centre at Tedworth House, Wiltshire.

They cover different distances and those taking part will

take anything from one to eight days to complete them.

On each ride participants will be cycling beside the amazing men and women that Help for Heroes supports.

The routes are:

Big Battlefield Bike Ride, Brussels to Paris, June 1-8, 335 miles;

Tartan Express, Edinburgh to London, June 1-8, 440 miles;

Northern Flyer, Manchester to London, June 4-8, 230 miles;

Dragon Dash, Cardiff to London, June 5-8, 170 miles;

Dawn Raid, Tedworth House to London, June 8, 100 miles;

Puffing Pedallers, Tedworth House to London, June 7-8, 100 miles;

Your Hero Ride – a DIY ride, leaving from wherever you

want and ending in London, finishing on June 8.

Norfolk Show Ball

This year’s Norfolk Show Ball, which is raising funds for Veterans Norfolk, takes place at the Norfolk Showground on Friday, June 20.

Tickets for the black tie evening, costing £75 each, can be purchased by calling 01603 757658 or emailing

Tables can be booked for eight, 10 or 12 places.

Further information about Veterans Norfolk is available at

Follow news of the Ball on Twitter @NorfolkShowBall.

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