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The Royal Artillery sets its sights on Prudential Ridelondon-Surrey 100

A team of 150 riders – Team DNRC – will be taking on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 30 July to raise money and awareness for the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC).

The riders pass within a mile of the current national rehabilitation centre at Headley Court in Surrey during the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 as they aim to raise a chunk of the final £40million needed to complete the funding for the new centre in Loughborough.

Of the 150 riders, 20 will be serving Gunners in the Royal Artillery including Captain Leon Young who knows first-hand the value and effectiveness of the clinical rehabilitation that is currently provided at Headley Court.

Captain Young said: “I suffered a catastrophic break to my leg during training so was seriously concerned about what it might mean for my ability to do my job and serve in my unit. 

“An expert team of clinicians and physiotherapists put me back together again, helping me to regain fitness and do all of the things I could do before.  For someone with years of military training behind me, that was massive because I could continue in my role and make positive use of my experience. 

“The new DNRC is going to take all of the expertise developed at Headley Court and allow it to flourish in a purpose-planned and purpose-built new site.  It’s a huge opportunity and I’m only too pleased to play a part by riding to raise money for the DNRC.”

Alongside Leon and his fellow Gunners will be riders and representatives from a broad cross section of supporters, including Interserve Construction Ltd (the main contractor building the defence facility), Arup (programme managers), Steffian Bradley Architects (joint architects) and BAE Systems (corporate supporters).

The DNRC is under construction at the Stanford Hall Estate near Loughborough with the defence facility due to be operational in the new location in the autumn of 2018. 

The fundraising target to create the defence facility is £300million of which more than £260million has been raised by the charity to date. Team DNRC is looking to help raise part of the £40million required to complete the task. The project is a charitable endeavour and the initiative of the late sixth Duke of Westminster, who died in 2016.

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 takes place on traffic-free roads across London and Surrey following much of the same route as the London 2012 Olympic road race route – and passing very close to Headley Court.

Holly Butcher, Director of Fundraising for the DNRC, said: “Team DNRC embodies the passion, commitment and selfless generosity that makes the DNRC initiative so remarkable. 

“We have 150 riders getting ready to take on this exciting Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 challenge, flying the flag for the DNRC and helping us to raise money and awareness.  I take my hat off to all of them and am incredibly grateful for their hard work and support to reach our target.”

In addition to providing a 21st century version of Headley Court, the DNRC programme provides the opportunity for a complementary national facility on the same site, focused on excellence in clinical rehabilitation for civilians in the same way that the Defence facility will care for members of the Armed Forces.

The opportunity for this national facility is currently being explored and a decision is expected from Government later this year.