Cyclists don their helmets to help raise money in memory of AJ’s Legacy
PUBLISHED: 19:24 30 September 2018 | UPDATED: 19:24 30 September 2018
Keen cyclists took to the road for a good cause today in a bid to raise money in memory of a young man killed by a drink driver.
A total of 36 people donned their cycling helmets and rode two different courses of 25 and 50 miles from Stowmarket and through villages in West Suffolk with just over £1,000 being raised.
The event, the fourth time it has taken place, was for AJ’s Legacy in memory of Aiden Jones, who lived in the town and who was only 20 when he died in a head-on crash at Badley Hill, on May 1, 2009.
In 2011 his family set up the charity which seeks to support vulnerable people in the Mid Suffolk area.
His mother Jayne said: “It was an absolutely fantastic event and everyone who took part had a wonderful day. It was also so nice to see new faces taking part and they seemed to enjoy it as well.
“It’s a landmark event for us each year and so many people know us and keep coming back to support us.”
The ride was organised by David Barton who said: “We wanted to incorporate new people this year and introduce more people into cycling and at the same time helping us with the charity.”
Both routes started from the Gladstone Arms with the shorter version going through Old Newton, Finningham, Walsham le Willows, Badwell Ash, Elmswell, Harleston and Onehouse while the longer route went via Combs, Battisford, Needham Market, Stowupland, Mendlesham, Old Newton, Walsham le Willows, Norton, Elmswell and back to Stowmarket.
Mrs Jones said that helping others had given her family hope after her son’s death.
“We are not a big charity,” she said. “We want people to come forward so we can help a few more. I thought, this way we get to meet the people we help – it gives us something to focus on.”
The problem, Mrs Jones explained, is not the funding – but a lack of awareness.
“We have got a bit of money in the pot,” she said. “We need to raise our profile.”
The funds raised from the weekend event will go to supporting local people who need a helping hand, and could be spent on gifts such as sensory equipment for special needs children or mobility aids.
“If you can’t afford to pay for the whole thing, we can pay a bit towards it,” Mrs Jones said.
Mrs Jones said she hoped the charity work could bring “something good out of something tragic”.
Aiden was driving his own car when he was killed in a late night head-on crash by a drunk-driver on the B1113 between Needham Market and Stowmarket in 2009.
Nicholas Kemp, then 36, of Eastward Place, Stowmarket, was jailed for five and a half years in January 2010 in connection with the crash.