Dunstable cyclist Alex Butler is amazed to have had backing for a 400km charity bike ride from a busy VIP – the Prime Minister!
Tension may be mounting amid the Ukraine crisis, but that didn’t stop PM David Cameron making time for a show of support for Alex, nicknamed Buttsy.
The PM happily posed with a sign that read: “I’m supporting Buttsy’s Vietnam-Cambodia charity bike ride for Keech Hospice and Sightsavers. Are you?”
Former AFC Dunstable manager Alex, of Kingscroft Avenue, said: “It was actually done on a morning when he was heavily involved in press conferences on the Ukrainian crisis.
“He managed to take a little time to do this – it’s quite amazing!”
Alex, 53, a Vauxhall network support analyst in the IT team at Griffin House, Luton, is raising cash for a cause close to Gazette readers’ hearts – Keech Hospice Care.
He is already more than halfway towards hitting his £2,000 fundraising target.
On top of that, the cyclist will dig into his own pocket to make a donation to the Sightsavers charity, matching 10 per cent of the total raised from the ride.
Alex will set out on his expedition on November 25, along with fellow cyclists Ashley Waller and Jackos Waller, both of Totternhoe, and Warren Symonds, from Luton.
Ashley, Jackos and Warren are all supporting the charity Together For Short Lives.
Now they are busy training for the ride, an organised mass challenge involving a number of other cyclists.
The plan is to start out in Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, and end the ride in Phnom Penh.
Alex said: “There will be some amazing scenery. It will be a great adventure.
“It’s one of the things on my ‘bucket list’, to go to that part of the world, with all its history.”
He added: “I’m just really looking forward to it.”
The cyclists are out on their bikes several times a week to gear up for the challenge, including a 30-mile cycle trek at weekends.
Now Alex is hoping to secure as many celebrity endorsements as possible for the charity challenge.
South West Beds MP Andrew Selous lent a helping hand over gaining Mr Cameron’s VIP support.
Mr Selous brought the cyclist’s fundraising bid to the attention of Gavin Williamson MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the PM.
And the PM was only too happy to oblige with a smiling pose to promote the event.
Big-hearted Vauxhall colleagues have already been backing Alex.
> Can you spare a donation, no matter how small, to back Alex’s efforts? If so, you can donate via www.justgiving.com/alex-butler1
Keep an eye on that web page to watch Alex’s charity total rising, and for updates.