A railway manager and a team of bikers are escorting a teddy bear around the UK to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Charitable mascot, Miles Hinckley is owned by an online motorcycle forum member, and is being taken on a motorcycle tour of the UK between April and August in a charitable relay inspired by the Olympic Torch.
Travelling from county to county, the cuddly mascot was greeted by FTPE Driver Manager Stephen Boniface, based at Manchester's Piccadilly , who took the teddy from Wales, through the North West, over to the Isle of Man and through the Lake District to Scotland for the next leg of his journey.
Miles Hinckley was aptly named 'Miles' to correlate with his lengthy journey and 'Hinckley' to commemorate the factory in which Triumph motorcycles, Miles' mode of transport, are made. To date Stephen Boniface alone has raised over £1400, £500 of which has been donated by First Group. The final total raised over all is yet to be confirmed.
Stephen has experienced first-hand the support that Macmillan Cancer Support provides to cancer patients and their families. He said, "When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, the Macmillan nurse came to see us in her spare time and provided emotional support for the whole family. They go above and beyond and taking Miles on part of his journey is an opportunity to give something back to them."
Stephen went on to say, "Teddies and bikes aren't usually associated with each other, so this mascot stood out to all of us. It's also been a great opportunity to meet other people from the Street Triple Triumph motorcycle forum and there's even talk of Miles being taken over to Europe once he's finished touring the UK to continue his journey."
The First Group Charity and Sponsorship Committee consider requests for funding and gifts in kind based on charitable criteria. The criteria includes; young people, health and the environment.
Kate Lamb, Community and Business Improvement Manager for First TransPennine Express, sits on the committee. She said: "We are really pleased to be able to support Stephen Boniface and the other bikers raising money with Miles for Macmillan Cancer support. I am sure that this donation will be well received by those at Macmillan and we look forward to seeing where Miles the Teddy travels to next."
For more information on Miles' journey, visit his just giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/MrHinckley.