Dad of hero soldier Ben Parkinson supports 3,000-mile bike trek

From left to right - Chris Parkinson (standby cyclist), Ben Parkinson (son of Chris), Damian Bourke (the cyclist), Dan Marsh (Wates' Site Manager for the Civic Offices)

From left to right - Chris Parkinson (standby cyclist), Ben Parkinson (son of Chris), Damian Bourke (the cyclist), Dan Marsh (Wates' Site Manager for the Civic Offices)

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A DONCASTER dentist is planning a 3,000 mile bike ride across America to raise cash for injured soldiers - with help from Ben Parkinson’s dad.

Damian Bourke, principal orthodontist at The Orthodontic Centre on Chequer Road, will be part of a team cycling across America in aid of Help for Heroes.

The support team will include Chris Parkinson, whose son Ben, from Bessacarr, was seriously injured in Afghanistan while he was serving with 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery in September 2006. He has been described as the most severely injured soldier ever to survive.

Damian is part of the Strategic Lions Cycling Team, which has set itself the goal of winning and setting a new record in the gruelling 2011 Race Across America, or RAAM, team event, now in its 30th year.

The team has been put together by the Yorkshire company Strategic Team Group,

Eight riders and eleven support crew will take part in the race which starts on June 18 in California and finishes around five days later in Maryland.

Damian said: “Help for Heroes is such a great cause and I am delighted to be contributing, especially in view of the fact that Ben is a local lad and the son of my friend Chris.

“I have been very impressed with peoples’ attitudes and enthusiasm to back our effort for Help for Heroes.

Wates Construction, currently building the town’s new Civic Offices and Campsmount Technology College, has already donated £200 to the race team for the charity, and is opening the doors to its civic office site canteen to sell home-made cakes and help raise more funds.

Damian added: “Wates are an excellent example of a company with a sense of responsibility and I am very grateful for their support.”

To sponsor the team contact Andrea Coley at The Orthodontic Centre on 01302 366466 or call into the practice at 3 Chequer Road, in Doncaster town centre.

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