FOUR bicycles will be in place at Tesco in Solent Road, Havant, on Tuesday, March 15, when 12 soldiers will take turns in cycling the distance equivalent of the length of Great Britain in one day.
The soldiers from the 12th Regiment Royal Artillery at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island, pledged to take on a challenge to raise money for The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home (QAHH) after a visit there left them impressed.
The Worthing-based charity provides nursing and rehabilitation for many disabled ex-servicemen and women.
The soldiers decided to cycle the length of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats, which is a distance of around 838 miles. As their busy schedules meant they could not take off the five to seven days needed to undertake the challenge, the group decided to cycle the distance on static bicycles, and all in one day.
Staff Sergeant Vance Walker, long-term suporter of the QAHH and who devised the initiative, said: ‘We saw first hand the excellent facilities at the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home.
‘The dedicated staff provide care to our veterans, many of whom have spinal or brain injuries.
‘We wanted to do something special to raise money for this extraordinary place, but it had to be done in one day.
‘It will be tough to cycle 838 miles and we are hoping that shoppers at the Tesco store will stop and support us.’
Elizabeth Baxter, head of fundraising at the QAHH, said: ‘What the soldiers are doing to support our veterans is fantastic and we really appreciate it.
‘The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home receives no Government funding and this year we have to raise over £1.3 million.
‘The money will be a welcome boost to our fundraising and we’re so grateful that serving soldiers are helping veterans who have given so much for our country.’
The soldiers will start cycling at 9am and hope to have completed the distance by 7pm the same day.
Residents are encouraged to go along, see the soldiers in action and support their efforts for charity.