22 Sep 2016
Terry Keen, a grandfather from Reigate who cycled 1,500-mile around England with a 90th birthday card for the Queen has won a national award.
Terry Keen, 69, from Anchor’s Willow Glade retirement property in Hornbeam Road, was presented with the Grow Old Disgracefully Award at a special ceremony organised at The Royal Thames Yacht Club in London by the National Activities Provides Association (NAPA).
He was nominated for the award by Anchor’s Chief Executive Jane Ashcroft CBE, who joined him on one leg of the Tour de Terry, and Lucy Peake, CEO of Grandparents Plus for whom Terry raised more than £7,000 during the 57-day challenge.
Terry set off on his 1,500-mile tour from Berwick Upon Tweed in March and zigzaged across the country before reaching Helston in Cornwall on 9 May, stopping off en route at his Reigate home to celebrate his 70th birthday with his family and friends.
He was filmed on Good Morning Britain handing in the birthday card to Buckingham Palace on the Queen’s official birthday. To his surprise, he received a letter from the Queen’s Lady in Waiting on behalf of her Majesty, thanking him for all of his hard work to get more than 4,000 people across the country to sign the card.
And Terry was in for another surprise on Wednesday (21 September) when he was told he had won the NAPA Award.
He said: “I feel very touched to have won this award. It was a lot of hard work, not just for me cycling the length of England, but also for my wife, Jacquie, who helped organise the route with Anchor’s Simon Peyton, and the 96 Anchor care homes and retirement housing properties who organised fundraising welcome parties for when I arrived there.
“The kindness and generosity of people across the country has been most humbling.
“It’s been quite a year – apart from receiving a letter from Buckingham Palace after this challenge, I celebrated my 70th and Jacquie and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary!”
Terry said that he had decided to embark on the journey because he wanted to give something special to the Queen on her 90th birthday so thought why not a birthday card signed by older people from across the country.
He said: “The Queen and I are both grandparents so it seemed relevant to raise money for Grandparents Plus, which supports grandparents who care for their grandchildren because their parents are unable to look after them.”
According to the charity, 310 children in the Reigate and Banstead borough are looked after by kinship carers. The figure nationally is 150,000.
Anchor’s CEO Jane Ashcroft CBE said Terry so deserved the award.
She said: “Terry is so inspirational. He was the only septuagenarian cycling the length of the country, bringing a card to more than 4,000 people so they could write down their birthday wishes for The Queen.
“He battled every type of weather and terrain but still turned up with a smile at each location.”
Lucy Peake, Grandparents Plus’s CEO added: “Terry has been a true champion for us, raising funds for our vital advice line and shining a light on the amazing role kinship carers play when they raise children when their parents can't look after them.”