Cyprus

Military Personnel In Cyprus Help Raise €44,000 For Charity

They cycled 153km across the Mediterranean island to raise funds for two charities.

British military personnel based in Cyprus have helped raise €44,000 (£39,900) for charity after a cycle marathon across the island.

They were joined by officers from the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) Police for the 153km cycle from the western edge to the furthest eastern edge of the British bases on the island.

Money raised from the event went towards the One Dream One Wish Foundation and the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society.

Commander British Forces Cyprus and the Chief of the SBA Police were among the cyclists who took part.

Major General Rob Thomson, Commander British Forces Cyprus, told Forces News the fundraiser was "for two very worthy causes".

He added: "The police have helped organise it, but we've got people from the Air Force, people from the Army, we've got civil servants, we've got wonderful Cypriot policemen with us, so it's a real reflection of the nature of the one team that works here in the bases."

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, fewer cyclists took part in the ride and some adjustments were made to make sure it went ahead.

Cyclist receive support encouragement at Episkopi Fire Station during chairty ride 181020 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
The cyclists received support at each stop along their route, including at Episkopi Fire Station.

Chris Eyre, Chief Constable of Sovereign Base Areas Police, said:  "We worked very closely with the Ministry of Health to make sure that everything we're doing is both safe and seen to be safe.

"We felt it was really important, because charities aren't doing very well this year, to do our level best to make sure this went ahead."

"There are many children in our communities who don't enjoy the same privileges that most of us do, and if we can make a little bit of a difference for them, it's very special," he added.

After setting off at 07:00 local time, the cyclists reached the finish line at Ayios Nikolaos Police Station at 17:15 to the news they had doubled the amount raised in 2019.

Major General Thomson said: "This is a great testimony to the generosity of the Cypriot people who live in the bases and a testimony to the people within the bases, the military people."

He added: "It's been a hard year, but people have thought about other people and not just thought about themselves.

"That selflessness, that looking to the needs of others, is something that is core to the values and standards of the Armed Forces in the UK, core to the values of the Sovereign Base Area Police, and central to our friendship with Cyprus."