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The Olympic Torch Bearers - Aiskew & Bedale, 20th June 2012

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The Olympic Torch Relay started on the 19th May at Land’s End, Cornwall and will end 70 days later at the Olympic Stadium after travelling approximately 8,000 miles around  the UK; carried by 8,000 torch bearers and covering more than 1,000 villages, town and cities!

The Torch will travel via 20 towns and villages throughout North Yorkshire in June 2012; passing through Aiskew and Bedale before heading to Aysgarth and then continuing it's journey around the UK.

BedaleOnline are excited to announce the names and details of the Olympic Torch Bearers that will have the privilege of carrying the torch through Aiskew and Bedale on 20th June 2012:

torch bearer - alan makAlan Mak

Hometown: York

Age 28

Carrying the Flame through: Bedale

On: 20th June 2012

Alan's nomination story

"Alan is an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. As an outstanding, energetic and passionate Trustee of Magic Breakfast, Alan leads the fight against child hunger by setting up school breakfast clubs that feed over 6,000 hungry children every morning in 210 primary schools in Britain's most deprived communities.

Bagels, cereal, porridge and juice give the UK's hungriest, poorest children aged 5-11 fuel for learning, boosting their concentration in class, attendance at school, and success in exams.

Having suffered from child hunger himself, Alan has led the campaign amongst media, business and policymakers to raise awareness of child hunger and poverty, and calling for action.

Alan shows immense commitment to the cause by personally sponsoring the breakfast club at his local primary school where he is a governor. He has secured thousands of pounds of funding from corporate supporters, and led Magic Breakfast to success as a recent winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award for outstanding social enterprises. Alan is also designing and launching 'Magic Porridge', a new social enterprise serving porridge to the workplace to raise funds to feed hungry children.

Alan has gone the extra mile. His work allows an entire generation of children to make the most of their education and be the Olympians of the future. Alan's story is powerful, personal and inspiring, and he would carry the Olympic Flame with pride.

Visit for more information."


torch bearer - elaine dowellElaine Dowell

Hometown: York

Age 62

Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

On: 20th June 2012

Elaine's nomination story

"Elaine is the founder member of the Encephalitis Society, a charity which supports individuals who have had Encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain usually caused by an infection or auto-immune response to infection. She took the initiative to start up the society with a couple of other affected families in 1994 after they found themselves isolated and in the dark about the condition and its effects. The society has since grown into a national charity that provides advice, information, support groups, regional representatives, does dedicated research to improve outcomes and holds social events to enable sufferers to share experiences. I had Encephalitis the year before the society was formed and for 11 years struggled to cope, felt very alone and totally lost my sense of identity and direction and it was only once I found the society in 2004 that I met others who had had the same condition and finally regained a sense of identity and learnt some strategies to cope with the effects of it. I can honestly say that for myself the support and information the society provided was a turning point in my life and I would not be where I was today had I not found them and the many friends I have made through them. It was once said by a society member that the society is 'a light in a very dark place' and for Elaine to be a torch bearer would be a way that I and all the members of the society could say a huge thank you for putting her frustrations to good use back in 1993."

torch bearer - mike dobsonMike Dobson

Hometown: Thirsk

Age 71

Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

On: 20th June 2012

Mike's nomination story

"Mike retired from working in education in 1995 and since then has devoted himself to voluntary work within the community, doing fifteen different unpaid activites, as well as eighteen paid activities. He is an advocate with the National Youth Advocacy Service, Barnado`s, Voice for the Child in Care, HMYOI Wetherby and HMYOI Wakefield. He is President of North Yorkshire Youth Ltd and Patron of Sports Aid. He has been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh`s Award, the North Yorkshire County Scout Council, The Prince`s Trust, Youth Clubs North Yorkshire, the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, the National Youth Agency`s Education and Training Standards Committee, the National Lottery Charities Board, the Schools Curriculum Award, the Outward Bound Trust, the National School and Community Network, the York and North Yorkshire Connexions Board, the Extended Schools Programme, the Community Education Development Council, St John`s Ambulance (Commander) and has been a School Governor at the village school for eight years. He is Chairman of the York and District Society for Amateur Artists and teaches watercolour painting to young people, adults, and community art groups, including young people in prison. He is an independent visitor at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, Aycliffe Young People`s Centre and Huntercombe House, Stockton upon Tees. In 1995 he was awarded the MBE for `Services to Young People`. Despite his age and a knee replacement, Mike runs 20 miles a week."

torch bearer - rachel wilkinsonRachel Wilkinson

Hometown: Stockton on Tees

Age 43

Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

On: 20th June 2012

Rachel's nomination story

"Rachel Wilkinson is the manager of our vulnerable learners cohort at Bedale High School. We have a room that is called BRIDGE . She, and the other 2 members of the BRIDGE team make sure that young people in need of support are helped in a number of ways, this could be emotional support, practical support or referral to other agencies who could help the young person. Students at risk of exclusion are also helped to try to minimise the chance of this happening. Disaffected young people end up staying in school and completeing their GCSEs rather than becoming non-attenders and leaving with no qualifications. Young carers and those in care of the local authority are supported. All the young people Rachel helps have better chances in life now that they have received support at an early stage. She is proactive and all the young people she has helped sing her praises."

Terry Haw

Hometown: York

Age 75

Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

On: 20th June 2012

Terry's nomination story

" Cheerful Helpful Instructing Inspiring Others to take up sport. Since 1959. Youth club leader Cubs football referee 1960 Tennis player Junior tennis coach 2000 have benefited over the years. Runs ladies league 600 players. Playing every week in York district Winter tennis raising funds for Breast cancer Research At 75. Coaches to Encourage players to return to play. He is Mr Tennis in Fulford if not in York. He has devoted all his spare time to encouraging others to take up sport. He is deserving of the honour of carrying the Olympic torch. All this has been achieved despite difficult home circumstances. He is always eager to help anyone no matter the circumstances. When I snapped my tendon playing tennis it was Terry who took me to hospital. Stayed until 3am ran me home and provided great encouragement for me to return to play again after 9 months at the age of 64 and I am still playing. "


The team at BedaleOnline are excited about seeing the Olympic Torch pass through Bedale from Aiskew. We look forward to seeing Bedale bustling with people and all the local school children lining the streets as it passes!

We'll be there on the day, will you? Let us know how you plan to celebrate the occasion and how you'll be getting involved by emailing us at [email protected].

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You can find out about the Torch route, times and more on our Olympic Torch page.

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