It was a great start to 2014 for emergency couriers Devon Freewheelers when they were named Charity of the Year by Otter Nurseries.
The popular garden centre near Ottery St Mary has pledged to help the charity raise enough money for a brand new bike, enabling it to provide an even more efficient voluntary service to the NHS, transporting blood and other medical supplies across Devon.
The force behind Otter Nurseries, owner Marilyn White, said: “When the team heard the story of how Devon Freewheelers was launched by Daniel Lavery after his wife and baby nearly died, it wasn't difficult to make the decision to support this amazing charity.
“Devon Freewheelers has its roots firmly based in Honiton, so is very close to our hearts, though of course the service covers the whole of the county.”
Planned fundraising events include collection tins, regular raffles to win Otter Nurseries goodies and seasonal activities for customers, as well as quiz nights and social evenings for staff. The garden centre is also committed to raising awareness of exactly what it is the charity does.
Freewheelers rider Les May explained:“People know of us but don’t always understand what we do – they are often amazed when they learn that we travel hundreds of thousands of miles every year to deliver vital supplies to hospitals, doctors surgeries and even sometimes to patients’ homes.
“We are proud that Otter Nurseries has chosen Devon Freewheelers as its 2014 Charity of the Year and that the staff are so intent on telling people about us.”
The charity will now play a pivotal role in Otter Nurseries’ 50th anniversary celebrations, which include a challenge to undertake 50 good deeds in the local area during 2014.
During 2013 Otter Nurseries has been supporting Macmillan Cancer Support and has raised in excess of £12,000 with more to come over the festive season. The handover to the Freewheelers took place on January 1st 2014.