Cyclists ride for a summer holiday

Martyn Bellamy

Martyn Bellamy and his co-riders in Southend

A team of charitable cyclists have raised thousands of pounds to help give disadvantaged children a seaside holiday.

The first in a series of summer fundraising events saw business development manager Martyn Bellamy join nine others for a 70-mile ride from Walthamstow to Southend and back, finishing in just five hours and 41 minutes. The event was called the David Bellamy Memorial Ride, in a tribute to Martyn’s late father who died ealier this year.

“We really smashed it,” said Martyn. “We beat our previous best time by 17 minutes and 30 seconds and my maximum speed was 42.3mph, not bad for a 60-year-old big bloke on a bike!”

Further events planned include a quiz night in Leyton and another cycle ride, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on 31st July. Martyn and his co-fundraisers Angray Kang and Paul Smyth have raised more than £3,000 so far, but want to eventually raise £20,000. It would be enough to take at least 500 children on a trip to the seaside.

Martyn, who completed the David Bellamy Memorial Ride despite his spinal disability and having previously suffered two heart attacks, works for EAST Community Transport. The organisation is part of a group of East London charities that includes Waltham Forest Community Transport and provides assistance to vulnerable people who need help with mobility.

The planned seaside holiday in Southend for 500 local children, using Waltham Forest Community Transport’s fleet of minibuses, would include lunch, ice cream, a visit to Adventure Island, as well as a dip in the sea.

Martyn explained why the trip was so important: “All children deserve to have great memories of their childhood. We are asking people to help us realise this for children who may not be enjoying the best start in life.

“No matter how it came about, it isn’t their fault. We want help to make that right even if only for one day.”

To donate to Martyn Bellamy’s fund, which will go towards the seaside trip for 500 local children: