Lytham St Annes local’s heartfelt reasons to ‘Ride the Nile’ for military charity

Charity fundraising comes in all forms. For some, it’s a cake sale or a Big Brew Up for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. Others let gravity do the hard work by taking on a skydive. Some run, and some cycle.

Lynda Slack, a resident of Lytham St Annes, is doing her SSAFA fundraising on two wheels, but not around the leafy lanes of Lancashire, nor up and down its many hills.

She is going further afield – in fact, all the way to the land of the Pyramids to Ride the Nile.

Now is the time to air all the awful jokes, such as “If you hurt your back in Egypt, then you need to see a chiropractor” or “If you don’t believe there’s a big river in Egypt, then you’re in denial”.

That achieved, just why is Lynda – married to a WO2 on HMS Albion – taking on this fundraiser, and what challenges does she anticipate?

Lynda began by saying:

Well, it’s going to be warm. It’s also going to be sandy. On top of that, I haven’t really ridden a bike since I was a teenager, which was… a few years ago.

Lynda added that she wanted to do something a little different for SSAFA, so her brother suggested a two-wheeled fundraiser “before she gets too old” adding that she can “… do the walking challenges another day”.

She sets off next month and will complete the 270-odd-mile route in six days, starting daily at around 6am. An average of 45 miles a day may not seem that extreme, but factor in that the mercury hits around 23°C, with relative humidity around 65%, and it is not as easy as might first appear. It is certainly more difficult than the practice she – and fellow Nile fundraiser Lyndsay – have been putting in on and around Blackpool Prom.

The word “easy” does not, however, appear to be in Lynda’s vocabulary.

If you’re doing a challenge,” she said, “then make it challenging.

SSAFA is there, like it has been for nearly 140 years, for men and women, and their families, who have faced real challenges, so a few days exertion, sand in my face, saddle soreness, and aching limbs is small beer by comparison.

I know the value of SSAFA’s work for our Forces’ families. I’ve been a Royal Navy wife for 28 years with my hubby, and our daughters’ dad, away for months on end on deployments, but he’s always known that our girls and I have support back home and that’s where my support for SSAFA comes in.”

Lynda went into more detail, saying:

I’ll always remember travelling up to Scotland with my two daughters three days after the youngest had her appendix removed at Blackpool Hospital. She felt every bump in the road. Who knew motorways aren’t actually smooth?

“It was so painful, but this girl was determined to meet her dad’s ship, HMS Bangor, as they came back after a very long deployment. He didn’t even know she was coming.

We turned up that morning exhausted and were greeted by a SSAFA volunteer who not only recognised us from a visit two years early but saw quite clearly that my daughter was struggling to walk.

She found us a wheelchair – no idea from where – and gave us refreshments. and when Bangor came alongside, she cleared a path for daughter and dad to be reunited after eight months.

We all cried.

I will never forget that day and the difference that SSAFA volunteer made. We need more of these heroes to support our service personnel and the families at home, and this is my I’m doing this fundraiser.”

Lynda’s route begins in Cairo on November 8 and takes in Memphis, Luxor, Aswan, and the Valley of the Kings. To support her fundraising for SSAFA, visit

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