THE GENEROSITY of shoppers was evident last week, as a Chichester accountant went the distance to help the nation’s heroes.
Will Pearson, 57, of Albert Road, pedalled away from 10am-4pm on Saturday (April 26), raising £720 for Help For Heroes, outside Sainsbury’s in Westhampnett Road.
He said his efforts ‘paled into insignificance’ when compared to those of men and women in the armed forces.
“When you consider the life-changing injuries these people suffer, it’s life-changing to the whole family, not just the people themselves,” he said.
“But then you find they find another level of courage to get through that and go on to do other things as we saw in the Paralympics.”
He has registered for the Help For Heroes Dawn Raid bike ride on June 8, which will see 250 riders cycling 100 miles from Tedworth, near Salisbury, to London.
“I just feel it’s a great cause,” said Will, who has previously featured on the Observer’s Inspirations page.
Shoppers dropped coins and notes into Will’s bucket and wished him well for his venture.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic from people and the kind words they’ve said – it’s just brilliant,” he said. “I’d like to express my sincere thanks to the kind shoppers who donated so generously. Since the last Observer report I’ve also received a fantastic offer from Central Taxis who have agreed to take me to Salisbury free of charge for the start of the ride.”
He was supported by his partner Sue Bassil and her father Frank Hawes, who were collecting donations and encouraging him.
In January, Will asked Sainsbury’s for permission to set up and said the supermarket had been very supportive. He has borrowed the bike from Dave West, owner of the Nag’s Head pub in St Pancras.
He decided to take part just before Christmas and the start of training also signalled the first time he had ever ridden at length.
“The most I had ever ridden before was 32 miles for the British Heart Foundation, but this is quite different,” he said.
To help Will reach £1,000 visit www.bmycharity.com/WillPearson