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Local businessmen raise £1,000 for Ataxia charity

A leading national charity in the region has received a cash boost thanks to two Harrogate businessmen. Keith Hemmings and Charles Paines of event services company Joe Manby Limited have completed this year’s gruelling Big Bad Bike Ride – raising more than £1,000 between them for Ataxia UK.

A sponsored cycle event held at various locations around the UK, the Big Bad Bike Ride was set up in 1991 to raise funds for Ataxia UK. The charity supports research into potential cures for Friedreich’s Ataxia, a genetic degenerative neurological disorder affecting children and adults.
Building on the legacy of this summer’s Grand Depart, the 2014 event was staged around York and the East Yorkshire wolds. More than 400 cyclists from around the UK completed the route, raising a record-breaking £120,000 for the charity.

Keith said: We had a good day and it was great to see the event so well organised and supported on its return to Yorkshire. The weather was kind to us and, whilst there was no Cote de Buttertubs or Holme Moss, the climbs were still challenging. There is always a huge sense of accomplishment on completion of the ride as it’s all for a great cause.

Now a regular event in the cycling calendar, the bike ride was set up by York businessman Graham Kennedy after discovering that two of his children suffered from the genetic disease.

The Big Bad Bike Ride has raised more than £940,000 since 1991, with cash still coming in from this year’s ride. Graham’s original aim was to raise £1m for the charity and the next Big Bad Bike Ride should see him achieve this ambition.

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