Restaurant staff saddle up to help charity

Staff from McDonald's in Leighton get ready for their ride
Staff from McDonald's in Leighton get ready for their ride

Employees and the franchisee of the McDonald’s in Leighton Buzzard are taking part in a fundraising cycle ride.

Franchisee Ismail Anilmis and crew from his restaurants in Leighton, Bedford and Hockliffe are taking part in the event to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

The bike ride on June 3 will be launched by former Arsenal footballer Martin Keown, who will also be completing the first stage with the riders.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford will also be in attendance on the day as well as Jason Clark, the senior vice-president and chief operations officer of McDonald’s.

The Oxford to Leiden Bike Ride is now in its third year and 2017 is set to be the biggest event so far, with 26 riders participating. The ride covers over 300 miles and is done in three stages over three days.

The route was chosen as Oxford is twinned with Leiden in Holland, and both have Ronald McDonald Houses.

The ride starts from the Ronald McDonald House in Oxford and finishes at the one in Leiden.

Ismail Anilmis owns 10 restaurants in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Volunteers from all restaurants will be involved with fundraising throughout 2017 and collectively aim to raise £50,000 for the RMHC. In the two previous years, more than £40,000 has been raised by the bike ride.

Ismail said: “It is so important to me to help raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities and this year’s bike ride looks set to raise more money than ever.

“I am so proud of the hard work my team has put in over the past years – we’ve raised a huge amount of money for a brilliant cause, and had a great time doing it!”

Ronald McDonald House Charities provides free accommodation for families with children in hospital.

Located at or near specialist children’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses allow parents to remain nearby while their child undergoes treatment.

There are currently 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK, and money raised from this challenge will go towards helping keep more families close to their children in hospital, and building more houses where the need is greatest.

To donate to the ride visit