Every year one of the highlights of the fundraising calendar is the London Bikeathon, and the 2013 Bikeathon was no exception. The biggest fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma research, this event with different distances of 26, 52 or 100 miles has something for cyclists of all abilities.
I’ve previously entered on my own and enjoyed the camaraderie of the other cyclists hitting the roads in and around London, but more recently have been privegeled to be part of the Shearman Bowen team.
This year the date was moved back to a rainy September in mid-September – but the team came through completing the 52 mile route.
Our sponsor page is still open – so please click here to contribute to a great cause.
Sunnyside Community Gardens are a precious (although small) piece of Green Space in Hillrise ward, the Northern tip of Islington. The physical location is opposite the only significant Park in the ward, Elthorne Park, and separated from it by a quiet part of Sunnyside Road. I have campaigned for years to close that stretch of Sunnyside Rd, green it over and create a larger green space-see my YouTube clip here
But Sunnyside is more than just a physical space. Sunnyside provides a range horticultural and other services,notably helping and supporting residents with learning difficulties.
The fire of July 2013 that burned the Community Gardens building beyond repair was devasting news, reported in the Islington Gazette here. (See also this report in Islington Tribune )
However, the local Community has rallied round, and until such time as the Insurance settle, and we can rebuild, services will continue. My call for the Council to provide a portakabin was picked up by Cllr Lorraine Constantinou, and with help from Mullaley, a portakabin duly arrived.
We set up a support group on Facebook
And local campaigner Carl Quilliam organised an auction in the Royal Oak pub, where I was proud to be auctioneer at an event which saw generous donations from residents and Councillors Stacy, Horton and Constantinou. And then of course there were the numerous residents who turned out to bid for the lots, and buy the raffle tickets.
But it didn’t stop there. Local residents group WHPARA donated £100 and publicised the event, and prizes were donated by other local groups including Islington Boxing Club and Caxton House.
Local MP Jeremy Corbyn also offered tea in The Commons as a raffle prize.
And there were contributions and help from many more-too numerous to mention (but maybe a quick plug for Archway with Words who donated tickets for a very interesting forthcoming community event )
So from this adversity we have found a real community spirit, and hopefully (if you will forgive the cliche) we will see a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
In total, the auction/raffle raised over £700, but there is of course a long way to go.
letter to local paper
Sunnyside Gardens Playlist here
Thanks to M.Heath for the photo from auction.
Why I resigned from Lib Dems and why I cycled to Brighton for Reprieve
As a believer in open justice, I fundamentally opposed the Crime and Security Bill which earlier this year introduced secret courts
I resigned my membership of the Liberal Democrat Party over their Parliamentary support for the bill, having campaigned against it within the Party and at their Conference.(speech here)
During the campaign, I was struck by the excellent campaigning work on this issue by Reprieve, a charity I have long admired for excellent campaigns on justice and death-row cases.
I have therefore decided to attempt the London to Brighton Cycle race on September 8th to raise money for Reprieve. Please support the excellent work of Reprieve
Link to sponsorship page here
Islington gazette article here
UPDATE I finished the race (75 miles including my return cycle to start in Clapham) and would like to thank everyone for their support and sponsorship