A 37-year-old dentist from North London is cycling from 10 Downing Street to Cumbria to show his support for farmers in the region affected by flooding.
Father of three Bryn Thompson will embark on his challenge next month and waving him off at the start line will be the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lizz Truss.
He has also launched a fundraising cookbook called Up To Our Necks, which features recipes donated by Cumbrian farming flood victims, as well as celebrities such as former Coronation Street actress Wendi Peters, TV presenters Julia Bradbury and Helen Skelton and Michelin-star chef Glyn Purnell.
All of the money raised from the cookbook will go to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) and the Eden Flood Volunteers.
To date, R.A.B.I has paid out emergency grants of £85,000 to flood victims since December 2015, when storms first hit parts of northern England.
Bryn explains: “I was sat on my sofa at home in North London watching the floods on the news on TV and it really affected me.
"I’m not from a farming background but I take a keen interest in rural affairs and my brother-in-law’s parents are beef farmers near the Somerset Levels. To see the effects of the devastating floods was soul-destroying for me.
"I thought rather than just donate £20 to the cause, I could do much more by getting other people to join in. That’s where the recipe book idea came from.”
Bryn sought support from the farming community via social media and his cookbook went from ‘an idea to all systems go’ within 24 hours.
Following an agreement with an agricultural business to design the book, Bryn needed to raise funds for printing and decided to undertake a 360-mile fundraising cycle ride from Downing Street to Cumbria to help him.
Bryn said: “A few years ago I rode coast-to-coast from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. A lot of the rail bridges I rode over back then have been literally washed away by the floods.”
Bryn’s friend, Robert Wassell will accompany him on the ride.
The pair will depart from Downing Street at around 8.45am on May 4 – arriving at the Pooley Bridge finish – where they will promote the cookbook – at around 2pm on May 8.
Liz Truss’s involvement was secured through Bryn’s local Conservative MP.
Bryn added: “The support I’ve had for both the cycle ride and the cookbook has been just incredible. Having cycled the coast-to-coast route before the floods, it motivated me to ride once more through this beautiful land.”