NEARLY £6,000 has been raised for Leuchie House respite centre on the outskirts of North Berwick as part of its Rides4Respite campaign, which included its CEO cycling the North Coast 500.

The campaign was created to celebrate Leuchie’s 10th anniversary as an independent charity and invited challengers to travel four, 40 or 400 miles to raise funds for the facility.

But Leuchie CEO Mark Bevan, who lives in North Berwick, went one step further and cycled the famous North Coast 500 around the Highlands solo in one week.

He was supported on his journey by Simon and Cath Poole at Jerba Campervans, who donated a van for the week where he slept each night, and Law Cycles, which serviced his bike to make sure it was able to withstand the 100-mile cycles each day.

Mark completed the ride earlier this summer.

Mark’s 11-year-old daughter Freija also joined in on the fun with her friend Marie Fisher, cycling 40 miles each.

Maisie Fraser and her horse Aria also took on the challenge with a 400-mile ride, while Grace Roberts made the most of the weather and cycled 800 miles.

The campaign came to an end on July 31, with £5,917 raised.

All of the money raised goes towards helping people attend Leuchie House, which is Scotland’s national respite centre for men and women with neurological conditions.

It will give those who might not get the chance the opportunity for a stay at Leuchie.

While the Scottish Government has recognised and recommended the right to respite for people and the loved ones looking after their physical needs, the legislation requires local authorities to assess the need – so a person being offered support depends on local assessment criteria and the person assessing them.

Mark said: “My aim was to raise money for Leuchie House guests who, in a postcode lottery of funding, were not receiving the necessary financial support to attend Leuchie for a much-needed break for themselves and their carers.

“In a lottery, there are winners and losers, so postcode lottery is not an appropriate analogy, no one is winning in this system.

“Over the last 18 months, many have seen a huge reduction or complete removal of other support and they are exhausted.

“The amazing team at Leuchie are doing all they can to support people when they arrive here. I wanted to go a bit further and try to support people who otherwise would not have had the chance.”

Thanks to its success, the challenge will return next year.