Leeds Cares – the charity that works to improve healthcare services for people living in Yorkshire – will be the Official Fundraising Partner for the eight-day UCI Road World Championships event which attracts some of the biggest names in cycling.

Leeds General Infirmary-born cycling star, Lizzie Deignan, is backing the charity and will become an ambassador for Leeds Cares.

400 places in the official sportive of the Championships – including 70 reserved for NHS staff – have also been guaranteed for people raising money for Leeds Cares, with every penny going directly to the charity.

It’s all part of Leeds Cares’ drive to raise much-needed extra funding which will go towards new projects with the NHS to help people from Yorkshire to lead healthier and more active lives. Leeds Cares’ existing projects have shown the importance of sport in the recovery process and how it can improve not only someone’s health but their confidence and social life.

David Welch, Leeds Cares CEO, said: “We might be based in Leeds, but we are very much here for the people of Yorkshire. Our work sees us support patients from across our great county and this partnership with the UCI gives us an unrivalled opportunity to raise money and awareness of what we do day in, day out. The sportive is a great way of bike-lovers doing something amazing and raising money that will go directly to supporting patients.

Leeds Cares Photograph by Richard Walker – www.imagenorth.net

Lizzie Deignan, a former UCI World Champion and Olympic medallist, said: “I was born in the LGI and everyone knows I’m proud a proud Yorkshire woman, so becoming an ambassador for Leeds Cares and particularly their association with the UCI World Championships in Yorkshire next year is the perfect fit. I recently had the benefit of NHS maternity care so am only too aware of its value and why it’s important to do whatever we can to improve the service further and not stand still.

To find out more see www.leeds-cares.org