Two big-hearted bikers are planning the trip of a lifetime to mark their 50th birthdays, raising funds for Derian House Children’s Hospice on a journey they’ve named Miles For Smiles.
John Richmond and David Walsh, from Cliviger, will be setting off next month (May) on an 8,000-mile journey around Europe that will take in 32 countries over six weeks, carrying the Derian knitted mascot Danni on their travels with them.
John said: “Seeing the work that goes on at Derian House has really moved David and I. It’s spurred us on to raise as much money as we can, especially as it is truly astounding to discover it receives very little Government funding and must raise £3.85 million in 2017 to continue its amazing work.
“Derian House is an incredible place and the work that goes into caring for the children and young people, as well as supporting the wider family, is second to none. The atmosphere is so loving and fun – you can feel it as soon as you walk through the door.”
This will be the biggest trip that John and David, who have been friends since the age of 12, have undertaken together. It has been 10 years in the planning, growing from a group ride around the Mediterranean to the epic journey around Europe, taking in David’s grandfather’s war grave at Arnhem and a short break in Greece at the halfway point. The pair plan to camp out every night, carrying all their supplies with them on their bikes.
“Derian is a truly fantastic charity,” said David. “We’re proud to be wearing our Derian T-shirts and our motorbikes have been covered in our Miles for Smiles and Derian House logos. We’re planning to get lots of pictures along the way with Derian Danni at various European landmarks!
“We’d like to say a really big thank you to family and friends who are supporting us on our journey of a lifetime. Dickies Workwear have been so generous with us, too, providing us with all the specialist clothing we’ll need along the way.”
John, who is married to Clare, is a father of four. A plumbing and heating engineer, he is a partner in Richmond and Kershaw Plumbers and will be riding his trusty BMW. David, married to Joanne, is a father of two and owns Vantex workwear and corporate clothing suppliers. He will be taking his Triumph on the momentous journey.
“This will certainly be one birthday that John and David don’t forget in a hurry!” said Derian House community fund-raiser Judy Miller. “We love it when our supporters can combine their hobbies with fund-raising for us here at Derian House. They’ll certainly be making extra special memories which is something that is so important for the families we support here at Derian, too.”
To support John and David visit their Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/account/your-pages/David-Walsh30?pageId=9881873. You can follow their progress on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Dannis-miles-for-smiles-1858524654429251/?ref=bookmarks