Venture Properties raise more than £3,300 for GNAAS after charity bike ride

VENTURE properties have raised £3,321.60 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) after tackling their own version of the world-famous Tour de France.

25 amateur cyclists, including Venture staff members and their family and friends, embarked on the tough 41-mile sponsored bike ride, dubbed the Tour de Branch on Sunday August 20.

The bike ride was devised by Dan Stephenson, office manager of the Chester-le-Street branch and Matthew Laverick-Elliot, lettings manager of the Darlington branch, who decided to raise money for GNAAS after a family friend used the charity’s services.

The route started from the company’s most northerly office in Chester-Le-Street, and passed the Durham, Crook and Bishop Auckland branches, before finishing at their most southerly office, Darlington.

The team managed to finish the bike ride in approximately 6.5 hours, with Mr Stephenson and Mr Laverick-Elliot sent to the front of the pack to cross the finish line first.

After the ride, Matthew said: “Considering this is the first year we’ve done the Tour de Branch, the day was a huge success.

“All the riders, the youngest aged 16 and the oldest aged 63, completed the entire route – a gruelling 41 miles. I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved – the riders themselves, our sponsors and all those who gave up their day to help out and raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, a wonderful local charity.”

GNAAS relies on donations to survive. Last year, it needed to raise £5.1m to keep flying in the region. To support the charity, please call 01325-487263 or visit

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