Mega motorcycle challenge for charity is a roaring success

03 May 2024

Four air traffic controllers from NATS, the UK’s major provider of air traffic services, are back on the ground after a full-throttle fundraising challenge for Aerobility and Prostate Cancer UK.

Their epic motorcycle ride, The Big Tour: 24in2024, took them 3,500 miles visiting all 24 NATS-operated sites, from Aberdeen to Gibraltar and from Belfast to Stowmarket, spending 17 days on the road.

Wayne Clarke, Richard Fell, Shaun Bellairs-Wray and Harvey McVicar set off from Aberdeen airport on Sunday, 14 April and arrived back at NATS’ headquarters in Whiteley, Hampshire on Tuesday.  Their trip has already raised a massive £55,000.

The two charities are of particular significance to the motorcycle team. Aerobility is one of NATS’ corporate charity partners, giving disabled people the opportunity to learn to fly; and Prostate Cancer UK, supported by the ATCOs’ trade union, Prospect, helped a NATS colleague and close friend when he fell ill.

Four motorcyclists parked and waving Four motorcycle riders at Cardiff airport on the runway with a helicopter behind them Four men in an airport control tower hugging and smiling

The Big Tour set out to spread the word about Aerobility’s inclusion ambitions for disabled people in aviation alongside raising awareness of prostate cancer, its symptoms and how to receive screening. Support gained momentum when Triumph agreed to loan motorcycles, and organisations including the Ministry of Defence, Bristow and Brittany Ferries pledged their support too.

“It was really important to us to highlight these charities as they both save and improve lives,” said Shaun. “If one man gets a prostate test because of our ride, we’ll have succeeded. We’ve been truly humbled by everyone’s support and generosity, not to mention all the support from the airports, towers and military sites we’ve travelled to. It’s kept us all going during this demanding challenge.”

Mike Miller-Smith, Aerobility CEO, said: “NATS and its employees have been great advocates over the years. I am delighted that the team conquered this challenge and helped us make a difference to the flyers we support each year.”

Kathryn Leahy, NATS Chief Operations Officer, said: “We are extremely proud of what the team has achieved and the inspiration they have given to so many with this challenge. It’s been a real team effort, building lifelong relationships along the way, as well as raising a significant amount of money for two very worthy causes.”

The team will offset the ride’s emissions, engaging in carbon capturing green initiatives including tree planting across NATS’ sites and will continue to fundraise throughout the year.

Click here to donate.

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