AN annual Lake District cycling event, despite not being able to go ahead, was still able to make a considerable donation to the multiple charities it supports thanks to its ‘generous’ riders.

The Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge, a 113-mile event starting in Grasmere and incorporating many of the Lake District’s most famous and difficult passes, has been able to donate a much-needed £55,000 across Macmillan Cancer Research and Cancer Support, Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue, the Great North Air Ambulance and the North West Air Ambulance.

Lisa Wild, from Macmillan Cancer Supportt, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge team for their fantastic donation.

“The event has been a long-term supporter of Macmillan, raising over £1 million over the years. Sadly the event could not go ahead this year due to the pandemic so we were absolutely delighted and surprised to receive a cheque for £25,000 during these uncertain times”

Martin Cooper, from Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue, said: “This donation has come at a time when all our usual fundraising initiatives have dried up and will help to go towards the building of the new team base in Foxfield."

Angela Doran, from the Great North Air Ambulance said: “During the pandemic our lack of ability to conduct community and event engagement has impacted the charity at its peak by £100,000 per month. During lockdown, between April - August we were called out 580 times, so the service is in demand now more than ever, without these vital donations we wouldn’t be able to continue the life-saving missions we do.”