Simon Hughes MP was at the Millennium Bridge to help send off George Ruston, director of Southwark-based charity Hope UK, as he cycles from London to Edinburgh the long way round.
This is George's way of celebrating Hope UK's 150th anniversary and his twentieth year as Director. Visiting each of the UKs four capitals will symbolise the breadth of the charity's mission and the inclusion of Dublin will recognise the home of one of Hope UK's principal founders, a Presbyterian lady called Anne Jane Carlile. He aims to raise £15,000 for drug education for parents, children and young people throughout the UK.
Simon said: "Hope UK has been, is and will continue to be a very important organisation. Educating young people about the dangers of drugs and preventing harmful drug use is one of the UK's most important challenges. George Ruston has given formidable service over 20 years as Director. George Ruston and Hope UK deserve every encouragement.
The least I can do is to start George off on his UK and Ireland tour. I am happy and proud to salute him and his work as he starts his third decade of service. Hope UK has many more miles to go and the energy to go there."
George Ruston said: "The UK Government's recent alcohol strategy document suggests that up to 1.3 million children will suffer because of their parent's drinking. This – and all the problems related to drugs – must mean that working with parents to prevent harm occurring is one of the ways forward."
Based in Copperfield Street, Hope UK is the only national charity with an accredited Voluntary Drug Educator Training Scheme. If anyone is interested in volunteering or finding out more about their work, they should visit www.hopeuk.org or write to George at FREEPOST HOPE UK (no stamp required).
George is relying on people who have never given to Hope UK before to help him meet his £15,000 target and gifts can be made online by visiting their website or sent to their FREEPOST HOPE UK address.