Yorkshire’s helicopter heroes flying high after £25,000 donation

Patients at Sheffield Children's Hospital raced around the corridors on their bikes
Patients at Sheffield Children's Hospital raced around the corridors on their bikes
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Yorkshire’s helicopter heroes are flying high after receiving a £25,000 donation.

The cash was raised from the sale of a giant mural depicting some of cycling’s greats.

Stephen Gee (r) presents Yorkshire Air Ambulance North Yorkshire Fundraising Manager''Tony Doveston with a cheque for �25,000

Stephen Gee (r) presents Yorkshire Air Ambulance North Yorkshire Fundraising Manager''Tony Doveston with a cheque for �25,000

Eight, 2.5m x 2.5m art pieces were commissioned by Harrogate-based interior design specialists The Stephen Neall Group as part of their celebrations to mark the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in Yorkshire last year.

Created by artist James Straffon, the mural features legends of the sport including Doncaster’s Tommy Simpson; Wakefield’s Barry Hoban and Huddersfield’s Brian Robinson as well as modern day

cycling icons Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

The mural was sold off after the race, which brought cycling stars through South Yorkshire, with the proceeds split between the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and cycling charity The Dave Rayner Trust Fund.

It was bought by Barnsley-based Dransfield Properties for £50,000 - on the condition that each living cyclist depicted should sign their picture.

Ten months and nearly 1,800 miles later, Stephen Gee, proprietor of the Stephen Neall Group, completed the challenge.

“It was certainly a challenge, not just getting the agreement of each cyclist but then finding a time and place when the pictures could be signed,” said Stephen.

“After one unsuccessful attempt to get Mark Cavendish to sign his picture at Manchester Velodrome, we drove to Ghent in Belgium where he signed it in the lobby of his hotel.

“It was a remarkable adventure and such an honour to be in the company of cycling greats past and present.

“I’m delighted we have been able to donate so much to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a charity that provides such a vital service here in Yorkshire.”