Clive Hawkins looks back on his epic fundraising challenge

As the recently appointed Nailsea & Backwell Rotary president, Clive Hawkins can expect a busy year ahead, but he does so while looking back on an extraordinarily active summer that saw him cycling the length of Britain, all in the cause of raising funds for charity.

Clive is a long-time Portishead resident, whose connection to Nailsea and to its Rotary club began when he became the manager of the local HSBC branch in 1995. For his epic bike ride from Land’s End to John O’ Groats (LEJOG), he selected three national causes to support – British Red Cross Fund, Lend with Care and Cancer Research UK – as well as two local causes. The first of these local causes is the Portishead Christmas Lights. “Myself and my wife love the Christmas lights every year, and proudly show them off to friends, but I was also aware of how Covid has hit local events’ fundraising capabilities,” Clive said of his reason for championing their cause on his LEJOG challenge. Nailsea Community Group is the second local cause to benefit and was included, said Clive, after a presentation given by the group to Nailsea & Backwell Rotary members. “We were really impressed with what they are doing and saw the need for funding,” he said, adding that Nailsea & Backwell Rotary is looking to work with them more in the future.

By choosing to do his bike ride with Pedal Britain, Clive had full support on his journey in terms of logistics as well as the camaraderie of cycling alongside a group of more than a dozen, all of whom formed a bond along the way.  Now back home after having completed the 14-day ride in August, Clive has plenty of memories to look back on, but singles out Day 11, in particular, for being the best overall in terms of scenery and awesomeness. “The weather was brilliant,” said Clive, describing his ascent to the top of Glen Coe followed by a descent. “We saw the Scottish Highlands in all their majesty and glory. It was almost spiritual.” 

With gift aid factored in, Clive has already smashed his target of raising £4500, but is hoping that donations will continue to come in, with his Just Giving page still active to receive pledges. Search for Clive Hawkins’ LEJOG Challenge at www.justgiving.com to contribute.