Ruaridh (Ru) Marley

Captain Tom inspires six-year-old’s cycle challenge for his local ambulance service

A six-year-old from Longhaughton has taken on a mammoth cycling challenge throughout May to raise money for his local ambulance service.

Ru 2After watching Captain Tom’s amazing 100th birthday challenge, Ruaridh (Ru) Marley was inspired to do his own – and has set about cycling 50 miles throughout the month of May with the help of mum Katrina and dad Tim, choosing North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) as the worthy recipient.

Initially Ru – who is hoping to cycle five miles every other day – had hoped to raise £1 per mile cycled but just four days in smashed his £50 target within the first day of his Justgiving page going live.

Katrina said: “Obviously he’s quite young but he’s done a few five-mile cycles with us and loves it. With Captain Tom doing his challenge, he said he wanted to do something too and was adamant he wanted to raise money for the NHS. Captain Tom has obviously raised a tremendous amount for the national charity so we suggested he look at supporting a local one.

“Tim volunteers with the coastguard and knows a few paramedics from there, Ru has a friend from school who’s dad is a paramedic, plus we have a community first responder and a girl who works for NEAS practically on our doorstep so we thought NEAS seemed like a great choice.

“He did 60 miles in training throughout April so I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t go way over the 50 miles he’s set himself.

“He’s so pleased to have raised so much money already and obviously me and his dad are immensely proud of him.”

North East Ambulance Service’s Charitable Fund generally uses its donations to recruit and support its volunteers and fund life-saving equipment, such as defibrillators for local communities. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the charity is also looking at how it can provide additional resources to support development, health and wellbeing for NEAS staff.

Douglas Taylor, who chairs the charitable fund committee, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support from Ru and his family, and for the donations already made to his Justgiving page so early on in his challenge.

“We appreciate any contributions from members of the public, no matter how small, and we will ensure that the funds raised will be used to recognise the significant contribution of the NEAS staff and volunteers during these difficult times and to help improve facilities for staff in the future.”

To support Ru’s Many Miles in May challenge, visit

To find out more about North East Ambulance Service’s Charitable Fund, visit /get-involved/making-a-donation.aspx or email

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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