Cyclists are being urged to sign up to the Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride and raise money for RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital (GMAH) in Salford.

 

The 60 mile ride, which takes place on Sunday 13 July, will set off from Manchester United’s Football Ground at Old Trafford, Manchester and finish on the South Promenade in Blackpool.

 

Rachel Watkinson, a vet at GMAH, said: “I guess I got the wheels in motion on this, so to speak.Team GMAH © RSPCA

 

“I joined a local cycling group and was initially going to do this event, and raise money for GMAH, alone but when I started to tell people about it the interest grew and grew.

 

“There are now 27 of us including hospital staff, local RSPCA officers and local RSPCA branch members so we’ve created ‘Team GMAH’ and we’d really love other people to join us too.

 

“We hope to have at least 50 of us, so please, sign up!”

 

The tough but invigorating route will be largely along country lanes. It has been organised by Bike Events in conjunction with the official charity partner, The Christie Charitable Fund. Up to 20% of the money raised by Team GMAH will go to The Christie Charitable Fund to help cover costs but everything else will go into helping animals at the hospital.

 

David Yates, hospital director, who is also taking part, said: “Over 30,000 animals come through the hospital doors every year, that’s nearly 115 every weekday, and it costs 1.3 million pounds a year or £3,750 a day to keep those doors open.

 

“Whilst many animals are brought in by their owners, RSPCA inspectors brought in 6,000 animals in 2013. Many of these animals have suffered abuse or neglect and require urgent veterinary treatment.

 

“The money raised will go towards drugs and veterinary provisions for treating sick and injured animals, to provide food and housing for those who need to stay with us as part of their treatment and to cover the costs of preventative work like vaccinations, neutering and microchipping.”

 

Anyone who wants to take part can email Rachel at rachel.watkinson@rspca.org.uk and request a fundraising pack from www.rspca.org.uk/fundraisingpack

 

If you can’t take part but would like to support the event, you can donate online at http://choices.rspca.org.uk/Appeal/gmah-bike or by texting RSPCA4 £3 to 70111(Texts cost £3 plus your standard network rate)

 

—For more information about The Christie Charitable Fund please visit: http://www.christie.nhs.uk/the-christie-charity.aspx

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For more information about Bike Events please visit: http://www.bike-events.com/ride.aspx?id=411