Supporters of the Hayling Charity Bike Ride will today be shocked at the news that one of its leading lights, Paul Fisher, has resigned. Mr Fisher, co-president of the ride, is said to have racked up personal expenses on the charity’s credit card – a bill he has promised to repay.
It is understood that several cash withdrawals were made on the card, which was meant to be used for paying for the organisation and running of the ride.
Praise is due to the charity for the way it has handled this unfortunate episode.
It was right to be open and honest with its supporters – and The News – and to underline the procedures it now has in place to guard against similar incidents in the future.
Some supporters will understandably be bewildered that such a worrying incident could strike an institution that has racked up 27 glorious years of positive action.
But we hope that this will strengthen their resolve to continue the good work they have carried on for so long.
Over the years thousands of people pedalling thousands of miles have raised a staggering £1.2m for good causes.
More than 500 charities have benefited from the efforts.
Also significant is the buzz it has brought to Hayling Island where the ride has become a regular fixture of which residents and participants are justifiably proud.
Jon Tawse, chairman of the cycle ride, described the incident involving Mr Fisher as ‘a tragedy on every level’.
He also very graciously acknowledge’s Mr Fisher’s hard work in keeping the event going year after year.
No doubt he will be missed, but it would indeed be a tragedy if Mr Fisher’s departure spelled the end for the bike ride.
The pledge to press on with next year’s event is welcome – and we would hope that as many people as ever turn out to support it.
And we trust that their efforts will continue to contribute to the extraordinary success of the Hayling Bike Ride – and secure its future for many years to come.