Biking it for charity

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Two of Grampian Police’s most senior officers have started cycling 30 of the UK’s most daunting hills to raise money for charity.

Assistant Chief Constable Colin Menzies and Chief Superintendent Ewan Stewart are taking part in the 30(3) Challenge to celebrate 30 years of service with the force.

The pair are set to scale a height of more than 30,000 feet, the same as Mount Everest. The cyclists set off on Monday and have given themselves just five days to complete the challenge, from Somerset to Applecross In Wester Ross.

All proceeds from the challenge will go to the Diced Cap Charitable Trust, which has this year nominated the urological charity, UCAN.

The Trust chose UCAN after being impressed by the potential of its current campaign, to raise £2.5million to fund the purchase of a robotically-assisted (keyhole) surgical system and two integrated operating theatres for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI).

Mr Menzies, a trustee of Diced Cap, said: “We have been training hard and are ready and looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“We know it will be a tough few days but when the going gets tough we will remember that we are raising money for a much-deserved good cause here in the North-east.”

The robotically-assisted surgical system will cost £1.5million and the suite of two operating theatres will cost £1million, which cannot be funded by current NHS budgets.

The robotic surgical system is controlled by the surgeon and allows very intricate and complex procedures to be carried out while still allowing minimally invasive techniques to be used.

Fiona Pearson, UCAN’s fundraising manager, said: “We would like to thank Colin and Ewan for choosing to support UCAN’s latest fundraising campaign and wish them lots of luck on their amazing challenge.

“As they clock up the miles, they can rest assured that every penny they raise will go towards our £2.5million campaign.”

The aim of the Diced Cap Charitable Trust is to improve the health and wellbeing of people connected with the Grampian Police force area, reducing social exclusion and encouraging good citizenship through empowerment.

Run by volunteer police officers and support staff from Grampian Police, along with a number of retired officers and associates, the trust operates separately from the force.

More than £1million has been raised for charity since it was formed in 1990.