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A RENOWNED eatery has served up a tasty donation for a local hospice after completing an annual Tour de Tapas.

More than 50 riders saddled up for the 25 mile circular ride from the Old Yard Tapas Bar, in Bondgate, Darlington, raising £2,302.93 for St Teresa’s Hospice.

The annual event, which has so far raised £12,235.25, helps the hospice provide free care and support for residents of Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire, who are affected by life-limiting illness.

Owner George Turnbull, whose late father Peter, a staunch supporter of the hospice, hosted the first tour in 2007, said: “It is so important to keep the event going both in memory of my father and to help St Teresa’s continue its incredible work.

“I visited the hospice before the new in-patient unit was completed to see just how they spend all the funds raised and I now know how essential it is to continue to contribute to such an amazing place.”

The all-day event saw riders, including the Old Yard Tapas Bar staff, customers, local families and hospice supporters, aged from two to 60, cycle through the town and outlying villages before stopping for a well deserved rest and a game of cricket in Hurworth.

Manager of the Old Yard Tapas Bar Rebecca Poad said: “There was no pressure for anyone to sprint around the course and everyone had a great time including our general manager James Buxton and his wife Zoe who rode around on a tandem.

“This was our biggest event so far and the most money we have ever raised but we are already aiming to beat that next year with even more riders hopefully joining the tour. Our regular customer and friend Richard Armstrong, who works at the memorial hospital, has raised hundreds of pounds each year for the Tour de Tapas in sponsorship.”

Chief executive of St Teresa’s Hospice Jane Bradshaw added: “This is an absolutely fantastic effort from everyone involved with the Tour de Tapas and something that we never take for granted.

“It is wonderful to have so many friends and supporters to help us with our ongoing fundraising especially in such an active way.

“What is also invaluable is that George and his staff continuously help to raise awareness of our charity and the work of the hospice; sometimes just a mention about St Teresa’s could mean that someone who needs our help may pick up the phone or someone may want to help us fundraise to continue our work which is so important.”

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