The FIRST to LAST got underway this morning in Andover’s High Street aiming to cycle 3 million miles by 11th November to raise funds, awareness and to help veterans suffering today from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The first riders were Yvonne Nicholson (Asda Andover Community Life Champion), Sir George Young MP and Iris Andersen (St Mary’s Ward Councillor).
The aim of First to the Last is for Veterans In Action (VIA) to lead a cycling challenge which can be joined by members of the public to cycle using either static bikes in the comfort of their homes, shopping centres, clubs, gyms or using road bikes.
It is estimated that up to 1 million British and Commonwealth Armed Forces made the ultimate sacrifice during World War 1. These numbers rise to an estimated 3 million casualties with British and Commonwealth wounded.
The cycling challenge aims to cycle 1 mile for every British and Commonwealth casualty starting on the centenary of the first casualty who lost his life on the 21st Aug 1915.
Sir George Young MP started the event by cycling the first mile this morning (Thursday 21st August) and the challenge will end on the centenary of the last British and Commonwealth Soldier who lost his life on the 11th November 1918 just two minutes before the armistice.
VIA will travel the country over this period carrying out static cycling challenges in as many locations as possible with the aim of raising £1 for every British and Commonwealth casualty. The public can get involved by setting up personal cycling challenges and get sponsored £1 for each mile completed.
All monies raised to be donated through VIA’s Virgin Giving page. As mileage is covered and reported to VIA it will be collated and added to the accumulated mileage until the target of 3 million is reached by the 11th November 2018.
How will the funds raised be used
All funds raised will be used to help veteran’s suffering today from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from recent and past conflicts using VIA’s unique “ALIVE Program” and to set up regional centres around the UK so that veterans have better access to help and support.