Lincolnshire man to cycle 5,600 miles for RAF charity

Lincolnshire man to cycle 5,600 miles for RAF charity

Lincolnshire man to cycle 5,600 miles for RAF charity

An RAF serviceman based at RAF College Cranwell will be cycling 5,600 miles this year to raise money for the  RAF Benevolent Fund.

Wing Commander Mike Ainsworth, 55, will be covering the distance both on the road and on a turbo trainer.

Part of Mike’s challenge will include a 100-mile ride in Lincolnshire on 15 May.

Mike said:

“I wanted to set myself a big challenge as I’m an experienced cyclist, so I settled on 5,600 miles.

“This represents 100 miles for each crew member from the eight Lancaster bombers that did not return from the Dambusters raid. I’m also turning 56 this year, which makes my target especially fitting!

“I’ve been in the Royal Air Force for 35 years, so the RAF Benevolent Fund is a cause very close to my heart.

“I grew up on RAF bases as my parents both served and one of my earliest memories is watching The Dam Busters film at RAF Halton as a young boy, so I’m honoured to be paying tribute to those who risked their lives in the Dambusters raid.”

In 2020, the RAF Benevolent Fund introduced a 24-hour emotional support helpline and created an online mental wellbeing zone, as well as offering Headspace memberships to partners of serving personnel.

The Fund has also offered a grant of £2,500 to each RAF station to provide an activity and wellbeing pack for RAF children and launched Airplay Connect, an online version of its youth support service.

Lisa Hunt, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said:

“Mike is going the extra mile –quite literally – in his fundraising efforts this year, and we are beyond grateful for his support.

“By taking part in the Dambusters Ride, he will honour Johnny’s life and service and other members 617 Squadron.

“Thanks to people like Mike, we will be able to continue supporting the whole of the RAF Family practically, emotionally and financially for years to come.”

You can follow Mike’s progress and sponsor him via his fundraising page: