28 July 2017

War graves gardener takes on 100 mile challenge

A CWGC gardener who cares for war graves at a military cemetery in Cambridge will take on a 100 mile cycle this weekend to raise money for a charity that helps disabled veterans back into work.

Wayne (Harry) Harrod has set himself the target of raising more than £800 as he takes part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday (30 July) in aid of The Poppy Factory.

A former Colour Sergeant in the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, Harry (as he likes to be known) had a leg amputated in 2004 after he was hit by a 10 ½ ton Spartan tracked reconnaissance vehicle. He stayed in the army until 2011 before joining the CWGC via The Poppy Factory’s mentoring programme in 2012. The programme enabled Harry to work with the CWGC while studying for his horticultural diplomas from the RHS. He’s now responsible for more than 1,000 war graves at Cambridge.

Speaking about this weekend’s challenge, Harry said: “To get a place on the RideLondon for The Poppy factory is great. Knowing that injured and disabled veterans are going to be helped into full-time employment by taking part, why wouldn’t I ride to help The Poppy Factory when it helped me.”

Harry was also recently selected as a non-traveling reserve to represent Great Britain in cycling at this year’s Invictus Games to be held in Toronto, Canada, from 23-30 September.

He initially got into cycling to keep fit and ease the cost on commuting, but as the months went by he started to do more and more miles. He now averages more than 150 miles a week and more than 200 when he’s training for races.

Last year Harry rode in a number of marathon cycling events – raising funds for The Poppy Factory and Blesma – the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association.

To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/rblpoppyfactory

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