A South African surgeon is cycling through Scotland to raise money to help fund the life-changing work he carries out for international charity Mercy Ships.
Dr Tertius Venter, a full-time volunteer with the organisation, is cycling thousands of miles around the world as part of his ‘Cycle Miles for Smiles’ campaign, which aims to put smiles on people’s hearts and faces.
A full time volunteer with the charity since 2006, Dr Venter has changed patients’ lives dramatically through plastic surgery, brought hope to hundreds and undertaken a number of highly challenging fund-raising cycle tours.
He arrived in London last week and his route through the UK will take him via Cairnryan/Glasgow on May 19, Dalwhinnie on May 20, Whiteford on May 21, Dundee on May 22 and Edinburgh on May 23
Mercy Ships operates the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, and provides free healthcare services to those living in developing countries where the services of professional medical staff are most needed. The ship is currently docked in Madagascar, one of the world’s poorest countries which has only two physicians and three hospital beds available for every 10,000 people.
Since 2014 Dr Venter has already completed three of his ‘Cycle Miles for Smiles’ tours in Europe, South Africa and the USA to help raise funds and awareness of the world’s forgotten poor.
He set off on his latest epic journey from Amsterdam on May 2, continuing through Belgium to the UK and Ireland. He aims to be back in Amsterdam on May 28.
He has so far raised thousands of pounds for the charity as well as a number of other medical organisations which provide valuable care and surgery to those most in need. As well as fund-raising he will hold talks to promote the opportunities available for individuals keen on volunteering and for organisations and businesses to get involved with the work carried out by Mercy Ships.
Tertius commented: “There is a huge need for safe surgery around the world, however it is within our reach to make a difference.
“I hope that by undertaking such a challenge I’ll not only be raising funds but also awareness of the work of Mercy Ships and how the charity has put the smile back on so many people’s faces.”