A CYCLIST has more than 200 miles across the country in two days to raise funds for BARB Search and Rescue.

Andy Brewer, former mayor of Burnham and Highbridge, cycled from Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex to Burnham-on-Sea on September 4 and 5 and raised more than £2,000 for the rescue charity to help it continue to operate its two life-saving rescue hovercrafts and an inshore rescue boat.

The determined cyclist left Burnham-on-Crouch on Friday (September 4) and cycled through Essex to London and then on to Reading where he stayed overnight.

On Saturday (September 5) he left Reading and rode back to Burnham-on-Sea, arriving in the evening.

He was met by the Mayor of Burnham and Highbridge Cllr Mike Facey, deputy mayor’s Cllr Nick Tolley and Cllr Andy Hodge,chairman of Sedgemoor District Council Cllr Peter Clayton and town crier Alistair Murray.

The event raised over £1,600 in donations for BARB and Burnham-On-Sea’s Retreat Caravan Park, sponsored the event with a further £1,000 donation.

Andy said: “It was a tough challenge – the route was difficult in several areas, but it’s gone well and I’m really pleased to have completed it and raised a great sum for BARB.

“I’m so grateful for all the support that I have received, especially from Retreat Caravan Park, which spurred me on. It’s been an amazing two days and I hope the money helps BARB to continue their work in saving lives.

“BARB provides an essential service in keeping our coastline safe and the charity is wholly dependent on voluntary contributions, much of which is achieved via local fundraising activities that have not been possible since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced.”

After completing the challenge BARB presented Andy with a certificate of appreciation to thank him for his efforts and also gave a bouquet of flowers to The Retreat’s Debbie March.

A spokesman at BARB, said: “A big well done to Andy from us all on completing this challenge.

“We are hugely grateful to him for making us his chosen charity for this challenge and the Retreat Caravan Park for their wonderful support of BARB.

“As a small, independent charity that is fully dependent on donations to keep our life-saving service running the amount he’s raised is massively appreciated and makes a difference in helping us run our charity.

“This year has been very challenging, with fundraising halted since March. We need to raise thousands of pounds every year to keep running, so events like this make a real difference.”

Mayor of Burnham Cllr Mike Facey added: “On behalf of the Town Council, I congratulate Andy on what he’s done. It’s a great achievement and its really wonderful to see a charity being supported. I thank Andy for what he’s done and BARB volunteers for their work.”