ENTHUSIASTIC cyclists have added £600 to the Readers to the Rescue campaign pot, bringing the total to just under £18,000.

Richard Munro, Kendal, organised the Single Speed UK 17 Champs, which consisted of two days of guided rides and a hill climb challenge with cyclists camping near Staveley.

Evenings included wood fired pizza, drinks from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery and entertainment from Acoustic Brew.

"Single speed means you only have one gear so basically it's pretty tough to ride around the Kentmere valley," Mr Munro, who rides with Bogtrotters Mountain Bike Club and Wheelbase Cycles, said.

150 people took part in the event, with riders travelling from all over the country. The money was raised through raffle tickets, with Wheelbase helping out with many of the prizes, and a percentage of the event entry fee.

"I chose Kendal mountain rescue team as an avid mountain biker I know how helpful they can be when things go wrong," Mr Munro, 50, said. "And I live in Kendal and know a few people that are part of the team."

In total, £1,700 was raised, with the money split between Readers to the Rescue, Furness General Hospital's maternity unit and Kendal Torchlight.

The campaign has also been boosted by an anonymous £2,000 donation this week.

The 'Readers to the Rescue' appeal aims to raise £40,000 in order to pay for a state-of-the-art new vehicle that will act as a 'mobile base', allowing for better communication on rescues and increase the chances of positive outcomes.

A charity wholly dependent on volunteers and donations to survive, Kendal MRT needs the support of the community to replace an outdated minibus.

Kath Jackson, deputy team leader for Kendal MRT said that the team could not believe how quickly Gazette readers had got behind the campaign.

"We went into it quite out of the blue," she said. "And it surprised all of us how quickly and effectively people have got behind us and it just make a massive massive difference.

"It's taken a lot of the pressure off. Thank you everyone for every donation, big or small."

If you have been helped by Kendal Mountain Rescue Team and would like to share your story, please contact Sara Royle on 01539 790260 or email sara.royle@nqnw.co.uk