Ard Rock make major donation to flood recovery fund

Joe Rafferty of Ard Rock

Joe Rafferty of Ard Rock

Crowds at the Ard Rock event 2018

Crowds enjoying the Ard Rock event 2018

Ard Rock crew helping deal with the devastation of July 2019 flooding

Ard Rock crew helpng deal with the devastation of the July 2019 flooding

Following devastating flash flooding across parts of Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Wensleydale, Two Ridings Community Foundation got a major boost to its fundraising efforts to assist residents affected by the floods when it received a donation of £48,655 from the organisers of the Ard Rock.

Ard Rock is the UK’s biggest mountain bike race and festival and it attracts some of the World’s highest profile racers, with the 2019 event expected to host four previous mountain bike world Champions. The racing takes place in the Swaledale and Arkengratdale Valleys and, the festival has an expo area with bike brands from around the world, live music and activities for adults and children.

The event, due to be held on 2-3 August 2019, had to be cancelled at short notice following the devastating flash flooding which damaged roads, homes and infrastructure close to the event site on 31st July 2019. Immediately after cancelling the event, the team led by Joe and Kelly Rafferty turned their efforts to fund raising to help the local community get back on its feet. As well as raffling of a high end Santa Cruz mountain bike they set up a donation page and asked their participants to support the Swaledale and Arkengarthdale communities.

The donation to The Swaledale and Wensleydale Recovery Fund, which is being managed by the Two Ridings Community Foundation, will be used to ensure that the families, farms and small businesses affected in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale have long-term support to help them recover from the effects of flooding. This includes awards to the Parish Councils as well as payments to residents to help them with the costs of temporary accommodation, running dehumidifiers or replacing items such as white goods and essential furniture. The Fund will also support local farm businesses in hardship. £30,000 of the money raised by Ard Rock has already been pledged to Akrengarthdale, Reeth and Grinton Parish Councils to assist them with immediate repair work on severely damaged land to protect properties and businesses.

Joe Rafferty from Ard Rock said: “Swaledale and Arkengarthdale have been the host of Ard Rock for seven years now, and the valleys and beautiful scenery have given us all so many good times and special memories. On behalf of all the Ard Rock participants and the mountain bike community, we are delighted that the funds we raised will help the local community recover. We would also like to thank the Two Ridings Community Foundation for managing our donation and their hard work so far, we have full confidence that they will ensure that it is used in the best possible way.

Jan Garrill, Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation said: “The donation from Ard Rock reflects the special place this community has for all the people involved in the Ard Rock event. We will ensure that the Fund’s donation is used to help people in the affected area get back on their feet again. But in the meantime, the Dales are open for business as usual, so do continue to visit and support our amazing community”.

Donations are welcome from individuals, businesses or others who want to use Two Ridings Community Foundation’s local expertise to ensure the funds make a difference. To donate please visit:

To date the fund has made 124 Stage one payments of £300 to people affected by the flooding and 6 stage two payments of £1000 plus to help people in financial hardship. Many more stage two payments will be made in the next few months as people come to terms with the financial impact of the floods.

To make a request for support please contact the Two Ridings Community Foundation office on 01904 929 500 or email [email protected].

There are 46 Community Foundations in the UK, each has an in-depth local knowledge and they are often called upon to mobilise donations to help victims of natural disasters.

If you would like any further information about the work of the Foundation, how to support us or grants awarded in your area, please do not hesitate to contact the office.