AN organisation which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a national centre of remembrance has received a top volunteering award.
Ride to the Wall has raised £218,000 for the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, through its annual motorbike event in which up to 4,000 riders travel to the arboretum to pay their respect to fallen servicemen.
The charity received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award which can be given to voluntary organisations - in recognition of its efforts.
Martin Dickinson, founder of Ride to the Wall, said more than 300 volunteers are needed to marshal the event.
He said: “We are extremely proud of receiving the award.
“The volunteers allow the event to run smoothly and without any problems.
“They help us to get between 3,000 and 4,000 bikes to the arboretum without them being held up.
“There will be eight different starting points for this year’s ride and our marshals will lead them in on the M6 and from Drayton Manor.
“It’s a logistical and complex manoeuvre but it is all voluntary work which they like to do.”
For the event, riders gather at starting points around the Midlands and make their way to the arboretum, where the names of about 16,000 servicemen who have died since the Second World War are engraved on the wall of the armed forces memorial.
Mr Dickinson said the event is the highest attended service at the arboretum with 15,000 attending last year’s service.
This year’s event, due to take place on Saturday, October 5, will include the Military Wives Choir and the army’s Parachute Regiment display team the Red Devils.
Mr Dickinson said: “The idea for the whole organisation is to make people aware of the names on the wall.
“It’s about raising awareness and there are large contingents of motorcyclists who attend the arboretum.
“This year t would be nice to see as many people on the road waving people a long.”