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High Sheriff Leicestershire Cycle Ride - Summer 2021

Leicester to Spey Bay Cycle Ride Despite the complex set of circumstances caused by the pandemic Ian took up his post as High Sheriff of Leicestershire in March. As the city of Leicester was one of the very first places in the United Kingdom to be ‘locked down’ due to covid-19, much of the activity that was planned for his Shrieval tenure needed to be adapted to address the challenges we all faced.

About the Cause

As a proud Leicester lad, Ian is immensely honoured to represent the county he has called home for his entire life.  Ian very much values the connection he maintains to Leicester and Leicestershire not only through his business activities, but also via the charitable trust which he founded with his wife Clare in 2016.

Objectives Following the long winter lockdown of 2020 - as the country began to ‘open up’ in the summer of 2021, Ian took the opportunity to cycle from his home in rural Leicestershire to Spey Bay in Scotland, which is 60 miles north of Aberdeen, a journey of 560 miles. Ian's wife Clare joined him on the first day of cycling and they enjoyed being out on the road together. The aim of the journey was to raise valuable funds for five worthy charities based in Leicestershire. Thanks to incredibly generous support Ian raised £25,000 in donations, which he and Clare personally matched bringing the total to £50,000 the entirety of which went to helping these worthy causes. With the night’s now drawing in and the potential for outdoor events passing, Ian is hoping, restrictions and sentiment permitting, to gather people together for an informal in person event to thank in person our sponsors, honour my chosen charities and begin to bring business, civic and charitable organisations together to better align them for the complex task ahead as we head out into the ‘new-normal’ post pandemic.

"It is a great honour to be appointed High Sheriff of Leicestershire and continue the fundraising activities undertaken by my predecessors for the place I love and call ‘home’. Helping those around me has always been a key part of my life and when covid-19 challenged us all, I looked for ways I could fundraise without relying on everyone being in a room together. I’ve always enjoyed cycling so combining this with my love of Scotland and in particular, Spey Bay, a favourite fishing spot, means I very much enjoyed the ride. Many people thought I was a little crazy to do it, especially with it being the hottest week of the year, but it was a glorious journey and I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude, the sunshine and the refuel breakfasts." 

Work Carried Out

Ian also took the opportunity to meet up with his long-term friend and business partner Bob Woods, with whom he founded Mattioli Woods in 1991. This year Mattioli Woods celebrate 30 years in business, and Ian says that undertaking this honourable civic duty is the icing on the cake of what has been, and continues to be, an incredible journey from humble beginnings. Ian and Bob and I took some time up in Scotland to reminisce over a wee dram or two! The journey was a great success and ultimately gave me the opportunity to support some local organisations close to my heart including:

  • Warning Zone

  • LOROS 

  • Rainbows

  • CKI School of Martial Arts  

  • Aylestone Park Football Club  

Thirty thousand pounds was shared between the five Charites and the additional £20,000 will be further distributed to both local and national charities identified by donors. Ian said

"We continue to operate under challenging conditions, but I feel we must take to time recognise how fortunate we are, and to support and value the communities in which we live and work. After all they make us who we are."


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