TV and Olympic stars lead charity cycle ride
TIVERTON based actress Caroline Quentin led a group of celebrities on a fundraising bike ride.
She was joined by Olympic equestrian Mary King MBE and Lady Penny Mountbatten to raise money for the Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT).
The cycle ride kicked off at Huntsham Court near Tiverton and was the first big charity event to be hosted under the Huntsham Hotspots initiative, an initiative which allows South West charities to host fundraising events at the stately home free of charge.
Caroline Quentin, who lives near Tiverton, said: "I've known Huntsham Court for years, and it's an amazing Victorian private mansion with a great ethos – the perfect place to hold any charity event."
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The ladies were joined by friends and supporters of the charity to travel the 30-mile round trip on Tuesday, September 24, and one of the charity's two helicopters made a special landing at the property ahead of the race's start at 10am.
After the cycle ride, a celebratory champagne reception was held at Huntsham for all participants and their guests with a full programme of entertainment, including a special performance by Blundell's School's parent and teacher choir, The Mamas & The Papas featuring Caroline Quentin.
Caroline Creer, fundraising director of Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said: "We would like to thank Huntsham Court's owners Christopher Badham and Damian Llambias for choosing us as their first Huntsham Hotspot – it is a great honour. To have support with gifts in kind such as this really does make a huge difference to our fundraising initiatives and means that the money raised for Devon's Air Ambulances goes straight into the pot to keep the helicopters airborne."
"We very rarely request our helicopter to drop in to events, due to their busy operational duties, but this event is just that bit out of the ordinary."
Huntsham Court is planning to host up to four Huntsham Hotspot events throughout 2014 and is currently inviting applications from local charities and groups.
For a Huntsham Hotspots application form call 01398 361277.