Media Release: 07 July 2022

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to be one of the beneficiaries of an incredible cycle challenge, which is raising funds in memory of Hugo Yaxley and Helen McCrory OBE.

In November 2020, Thomas Yaxley’s brother, Hugo Yaxley, was involved in a serious road traffic accident in which he tragically lost his life. Just five months after, his aunt, Helen McCrory OBE, also tragically passed away after losing her battle with breast cancer.

Helen McCrory OBESince the tragic passing of his much-loved brother and aunt, Thomas, 32, has organised a range of charity cycling events to raise funds in their memory. Following a successful event in June which raised over £11,000 in aid of four chosen charities, Thomas is embarking on his final challenge on Thursday 14th July, which will see him cycle over 2,100km from The National Theatre in London to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.

In a bid to honour their memory and fantastic charity work, Thomas hopes that his final challenge will take the £110,000 that has already been raised through 'Ride4Hugo', to over £120,000 for four charities close to Hugo and Helen’s hearts, including Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, children’s mental health charity Place2Be and HVH Arts.

Speaking about his latest fundraising challenge, Thomas Yaxley said:

Thomas Yaxley and fundraisers of Ride4HugoThis brings 18 months of fundraising in Hugo and Helen’s memory to a conclusion. Which has seen some incredible efforts, especially from Minna Leatham, who came back from her life-threatening injuries in less than eight months to walk five miles; and Helena Russell, in running from Bristol to London.

It is very special to be able to leave from The National Theatre, a place where Helen loved to perform and gave some of her best performances, to go to Madrid, where Hugo was going to go to university.

Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported Ride4Hugo along the way; their time, money and effort has left a legacy for Hugo and Helen that has genuinely changed and saved lives.

Emma Jones, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager said:

On behalf of the whole team at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, I would like to say a huge thank you to Thomas and all of his family and friends, for their continued support in aid of the charity.

We will be thinking of Thomas as he cycles 2,100km from London to Madrid and wish him the very best of luck with this epic challenge. We know that this is a very special journey and we feel honoured to be one of the chosen beneficiaries of this cycle ride.

For more information about Thomas’s fundraising efforts and to donate, visit the Ride4Hugo website