Thomas Yaxley bravely shared his story within a previous issue of Beeline, after his brother Hugo was involved in a serious road traffic accident. Hugo was cared for by Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA) at the scene of the incident, before airlifting him to Southampton Hospital to receive further treatment, while his girlfriend Minna Leatham was cared for by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, who also airlifted to Southampton. Tragically, Hugo died in hospital later that night as a result of his injuries, which were catastrophic. To add to the family’s heartache further, Thomas’s aunt, Helen McCrory OBE, also sadly passed away just five months later, after losing her battle with breast cancer.

In a bid to honour their memory, Thomas has organised a series of events through ‘Ride4Hugo’, to raise funds and awareness for four charities close to Hugo and Helen’s hearts. This included a special cycling event which took place during the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend and involved close friends and family cycling either a 48km or 101km route through Dorset and Wiltshire’s beautiful countryside. Our fundraising and volunteer team were delighted to attend and show support for those taking part.

There have also been some incredible personal fundraising efforts along the way; including from Hugo’s girlfriend Minna, who bravely walked five miles with her friends, only seven months after she suffered life-threatening injuries; along with Helena Russell, who completed a running challenge from Bristol to London. 

Thomas set off on his final challenge on 14th July, to cycle over 2,100km from The National Theatre in London to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. The start and end points of the challenge have special significance, as The National Theatre was a place where Helen loved to perform and Hugo was planning to go to university in Madrid.

The event brings 18 months of fundraising in Hugo and Helen’s memory to a conclusion and Thomas hopes that it will take the £110,000 that has already been raised through ‘Ride4Hugo’, to over £120,000 for four chosen charities including DSAA, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, children’s mental health charity Place2Be and HVH Arts.

To donate, visit the website.