A NORTH-EAST Harley Davidson biker group raised £20,000 for prostate cancer awareness after completing the Lands End to John O' Groats journey across Britain.

The Geordie Chapter began the journey to raise awareness for prostate cancer as a few members of the group, including Chapter Director Barry Gillespie, had been through, and are undergoing, treatment for prostate cancer.

The journey was planned before the Covid outbreak and covered 1780 miles over a long weekend and received a lot of support from Geordie Chapter members as well as other chapter members within the country.

Barry Gillespie, Chapter Director, said: "“A couple of bikers that we have in our chapter decided that they wanted to do something for prostate cancer.

“I’ve had prostate cancer myself and so we decided to do something that raised awareness for prostate cancer, it wasn’t about money at the beginning it was about raising awareness and that’s what it's always been about really.

“So they decided we would ride from Land’s End to John O’ Groats but they had to get to Land’s End to begin with so they had to ride down there from Newcastle.

“So we got together and obviously with Covid happening we had to abandon it for a while because we weren’t allowed out of our areas.

“But as soon as it was free we slotted it in and it was an amazing ride, there were no problems at all in any of the areas and people welcomed everyone with open arms and we managed to raise £20,000 with it as well.

“It’s great especially when things are difficult at the moment for everyone and we’ve raised quite a lot of money for the air ambulance and stuff like that and they’re all suffering and dead chuffed and dead proud of what we did.

“My thoughts were that it would be a nice thing, and it’s nice to let people know in the country what people in the North-East are doing.

“We want to do a presentation cheque hand over very shortly at the angel of the North.

“I’ve had an interview with Sky News actually and they did a great job at showing that bikers are still trying to stuff for charities which I thought was amazing really.

“I think it’s essential that people are made more aware of prostate cancer, especially with me having it, I’m clear of it now but the biggest thing for us was the awareness of it not the money.

“I got it when I was about 50 but because I got on top of it straight away, they were able to get rid of mine with medication, but the massive thing is and the whole idea about this was to raise awareness.

“Although a lot of ladies do ride motorcycles these days, the majority are still men so the idea was to just let people know to go and have a simple blood test, and that’s what saved my life without a doubt.

“I was getting out of bed two or three times to have a wee and I thought you know what let’s just go and get it checked out and they found it, but with medication they were able to shrink it and I’m all clear because of that.

“But I try to get across to the bikers that all they need to do is have a blood test, a lot of them are frightened, about the fact that to check the prostate to check it they put a finger up your bum and that’s what they’re all worried about.

“But at the end of the day they don’t need to be worried about it when it’s something that could truly save their life.

“What we’ve got to do as men, women do an awful lot with breast cancer get it checked out and because we are rough and tough guys, we don’t do that."

"If anyone has any worries or needs advice I'm always happy to help."

The Geordie Chapter will be presenting the cheque for the £20,000 very soon at the Angel of the North.

You can find the website for the Geordie Chapter here