Employees from Ridgeons' Newmarket branch took part in a sponsored indoor cycle relay this week to raise money for East Anglian Air Ambulance, the group’s chosen charity of the year.
The employees sported donated jockey silks to cycle over 158 miles on an exercise bike in just one day, from 7am to 3pm, taking it in turns to ride five miles in a relay format while continuing to serve customers at the busy branch.
Sharon Rohn, counter sales at Ridgeons Newmarket, said she was inspired to organise the event while she was considering joining the Cambridge Race for Life event: "We thought it would be much better to organise our own event, and my colleagues were all really eager to take part,” she explained. “We chose to adopt a jockey theme to celebrate the history of Newmarket, and decided on a distance of 158 miles as it's the same distance between Newmarket and Cheltenham, another town known for its racing history.
"We picked the East Anglian Air Ambulance, not just because it's Ridgeons' charity of the year, but also because we personally feel that such a wonderful service needs as much support as possible. It's an expensive service to run and at present receives no funding from the NHS, so we felt that we should do what we can to help."
The impromptu cycling team – which comprised Sharon Rohn, Emma Thorne, Cathy Evans, Sarah Saggs, Carol Roberts, Emma Lawrence, Jenna Boud, Steve Sinclair and Roger Jenkins – managed to raise approximately £9,000 for East Anglian Air Ambulance, with donations still coming in.
Ms Rohn added: "It has been a wonderful and slightly surreal experience being kitted out in jockey silks and riding an exercise bike all day. We've all had a fantastic time and would like to thank Juddmonte Farms for generously donating an amazing £500 for the event, and Tindalls Stationery shop for helping us with the balloons and decorations."
The jockey silks for the event were donated by the Newmarket Jockey Club, which also donated the exercise bike. Kitchen and bathroom showroom adviser Emma Thorne cycled the furthest, completing 35.9km over the course of the day.