Watford Borough Council in partnership with local bike share provider Beryl Bikes have launched a Christmas initiative – Laps To Lapland, to raise crucial funds for the Watford Helps Covid Charities Appeal!

Residents and businesses are being encouraged to get involved and collectively cycle the 6,307km distance from Watford to Lapland and back.  They can then donate themselves or get friends, family and colleagues to donate as much or as little as they can to the Watford Helps Covid Appeal by texting WATFORD to 70201.

The initiative runs from Monday 7 to Thursday 31 December and all of the money raised will go directly to local charities. The appeal which was launched earlier this year, has raised over £160,000 to date which has been shared with over 50 local charities.

People can take their own bike out for a spin around their local park, shops or hire a Beryl bike and get sponsored or donate to the appeal. At the end of the campaign, a prize draw will take place with a six month Everyone Active family membership worth £675 with fitness goodies up for grabs for the lucky winner. Once residents have cycled their distance, they’re asked to email [email protected] so the council can track the total distance covered.

The council has already received generous donations from local businesses Camelot and Berkeley Homes and is encouraging more local businesses to get involved or donate. Email [email protected] to find out more.

Elected Mayor of Watford said:

This has been an incredibly tough year for many people and our charities are doing an amazing job supporting those in need. With Christmas around the corner, I’d like to encourage as many of our residents as possible to get involved by cycling, donating or sponsoring our appeal. You are helping local charities to continue with their vital work so they can help people in our town who have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.”

Beryl CEO Philip Ellis said:

“This summer’s Ride For Watford was a huge success and we were delighted to play a small part in raising crucial funds for the Watford Helps Covid Appeal. We hope that a ride on a Beryl bike throughout much of December can not only help motivate people to raise more money for Watford’s local charities, but also provide residents with a more sustainable way to take a journey or enjoy the mental and physical benefits of a bike ride.”

Robert Farrant, Project Commercial Director at Berkeley Homes said: “Berkeley Homes (North East London) is delighted to support the Watford Helps Covid-19 Appeal.  We recognise the key role local charities play for those most in need, and how challenging the pandemic has been for these organisations, it is fantastic to be able to lend our support, good luck to all those involved"

To hire a Beryl Bike, users can download the Beryl app for free from the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android. Bikes can be picked up and dropped off in marked ‘Beryl Bays’ which are visible both in app and on the street.

Those wishing to make additional donations to help local Watford charities can do so by the following set text to donate methods, or online at www.watfordcovidappeal.org:

Text WATFORD to 70201 to donate £1

Text WATFORD to 70331 to donate £3

Text WATFORD to 70970 to donate £5

Text WATFORD to 70191 to donate £10

Those using Beryl Bikes are encouraged to wash their hands immediately before and after use, stay a safe distance away from others whilst cycling and not to ride in large groups, following the latest Covid-19 restrictions in your area. Beryl’s guidance on safe use of the service can be found here.

For more information visit www.watfordcovidappeal.org.