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Join in for a fundraising ride around Foulness Island
11:45am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in News
FEW people get to see the real Foulness, a remote and windswept island just off the coast of Shoebury .
The island, owned by the Ministry of Defence since 1915, is only open to the public at certain times, as it is still an operational weapons testing base.
But thanks to the Rotary Club of Thorpe Bay, you have the chance to cycle around the island on Sunday, September 9, for its annual fundraising bike ride.
The event has raised more than £13,000 for charity over the past 13 years and this year’s event is supporting Southend Mind, the mental health charity.
Garry Lowen, club spokesman, said: “Foulness isn’t actually a village in itself. There are a number of small villages which make up the island.“The ride takes you through a number of these and there are also some points of historic interest, so I think that is why so many people enjoy the event.”
The club hopes to attract more than 1,500 people this year. The future of the event was in doubt at one stage.
Despite being organised by Thorpe Bay Rotary Club, access to the private island is managed by the MoD, which previously warned it may not be able to support the bike ride after his year.
However, Thorpe Bay Rotary Club insists the event’s future is safe. Mr Lowen said: “It will carry on for as long as it’s popular.”
Anthony King, chief officer of Southend Mind, said: “At a time when greater demand is being placed on us, the money raised from the bike ride will help us meet growing demand and make a positive difference to more local people.”
As well as local charities, Thorpe Bay Rotary Club – this year supported by Rickard Keen chartered accountants – also helps the Foulness community.
Mr Lowen added: “We work very closely with Foulness Parish Council to ensure disruption to residents is minimal.”
For two years running, Thorpe Bay Rotary Club has donated to the Foulness Visitor Centre, and also brought a defibrillator for the island’s first aider. Visit www.thorpebayrotaryevents.co.uk for more details.