Cycling coppers’ charity challenge

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A Carnoustie man and his friends have mounted a brave expedition to raise money for a support group close to their hearts.

Stewart Ramsay (41), Barrie Taylor (39) from Arbroath, and Mike Currie (30) from Carnoustie, are currently somewhere between Land’s End and John O’ Groats (LEJOG) and are cycling more than 800 miles to raise money for The Brae Riding For The Disabled at Linlathen, between Broughty Ferry and Dundee.

Gazette readers might be familiar with Stewart already, his daughter Brooke Ramsay was the focus a few years ago for the hugely successful campaign ‘Brooke’s Dream’ which sought to raise funds to pay for an operation to correct her cerebral palsy.

Over £70,000 was raised in the community to pay for Brooke’s selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure which has since given the 10-year-old a new lease of life.

One of the groups involved in Brooke’s physical therapy in the years since her operation has been The Brae and dad Stewart feels strongly about supporting them.

He explained: “After Brooke’s Dream, I started volunteering at The Brae Riding just to help them out after the work they did and continue to do for Brooke. I very quickly realised the effort that goes into fundraising to keep the centre going each year, so I decided to do something for them.

“In 2012, Barrie Taylor, a work colleague, cycled from Land’s End to John O’ Groats to raise funds for Brooke, and so I asked him if he would be prepared to do the cycle again with me.

“We have been planning it for a little over a year now and another one of my other colleagues, Mike Currie has joined in with us.”

The trio, all police officers, travelled down to Land’s End on Tuesday and will start their cycle tomorrow (Thursday).

Stewart continued: “It’s a similar route over 10 days that should see us finish on Saturday, June 6. We have several other colleagues coming to meet us on Day Eight for the Tyndrum to Fort William leg to give us a bit of support.

“In terms of fundraising we started up a BT My Connect fundraising page which is currently sitting at around £530 in donations, we’ve raised a further £1000 by doing a bag pack at Morrisons in Arbroath a few weeks ago. We’ve been placing sponsor sheets in our offices and have had partners out and about getting sponsorship from local businesses in Carnoustie. The sponsorship we have had has been very good.

“We have done a couple of 100 mile practice runs with some shorter cycles in between so we are as ready to go as we’ll ever be.”

As we go to print nearly £1000 has been raised online, to donate visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/lejog2015forthebrae# you can follow their progress on Twitter @LejogForBraeRDA or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lejogcharity2015?ref=hl