A 69-year-old cyclist visited older people at a retirement property in Alnwick this week so they could sign a 90th birthday card for the Queen.
Terry Keen, from Surrey, popped into Anchor’s Church Lane in Bailiffgate on Monday and was greeted outside by residents cheering him on after completing the latest leg of his 1,400-mile journey across England.
As well as collecting more than 3,000 signatures on the specially-designed birthday card, charity cyclist Terry is asking people to make donations to Grandparent Plus.
The charity has revealed there are 1,020 children in Northumberland being raised by grandparents and other family members because their parents are unable to do so, often as a result of difficult family circumstances.
Terry is visiting 90 properties run by Anchor whose patron is the Queen’s cousin, Princess Alexandra.
He travelled onto Newcastle before he makes his way to Stockton-on-Tees, Birmingham, London, finally reaching Helston in Cornwall on May 9. He will then travel to London to hand in the card at Buckingham Palace.
Leading the welcoming party at Church Lane was manager Debs Thomson, who said everyone wanted to attend the welcome party for Terry as it was an impressive challenge he was undertaking.
She said: “It’s really something that Terry is travelling around the whole of England to bring this birthday card for older people and Anchor staff to sign. It means so much to us because we all think very highly of Her Majesty.”
Pensioner Terry, whose wife, Jacquie, remains at home in Surrey while he completes this tour, said he had been touched with the welcome he had received at all the properties he had visited.
He said: “I really admire the Queen for all her hard work and for being such a wonderful ambassador for the country.
“I wanted to give something special to her on her 90th birthday so thought why not a birthday card signed by older people from across the country.
“The Queen and I are both grandparents so it seemed relevant to raise money for Grandparents Plus which is such a worthwhile charity.
“The card is also a good way for older people across the country to feel part of this national celebration.”