Pilgrims Hospices Divas on Wheels cycle ride takes place on Sunday 11 August. Riders will set off into the beautiful Kent countryside from The Independent Pedaler in Bridge to raise funds for local hospice care. Cycling through quiet country lanes with refreshment stops along the way, riders can take on a 25- or 50-mile cycle before returning to a special ‘Divas Village’ for refreshments and the reward of a participants medal.
Sarah Jeffreys from Broadstairs is taking part for the first time this year and has signed up for the 50-mile cycle. She is supporting the local charity in memory of her father-in-law Roger Seward and uncle Martin Duff who were cared for at the hospices.
Sarah is a Social Worker for Canterbury and Coastal Adult Social Care supporting older people and people who have physical disabilities. She told us: “I used to be a regular cyclist and I have previously completed some long-distance challenges, however, over the past few years I have significantly neglected my fitness, choosing instead to focus on studying for a degree. Now I’ve decided to get my fitness back, and I wanted a challenge so Divas on Wheels is perfect. The event gives me something to train towards and I get to spread the word about Pilgrims Hospices charity at the same time!
“I have roped my friend Claire Wills into signing up for the short course as well. At events like this, it doesn’t matter if you join as a single rider because you always have plenty of people to talk to and ride with around the whole course.”
Sarah shared some of her thoughts on Pilgrims Hospices services:
“One thing stands out for me was when a Pilgrims nurse came to our home at a point when nobody knew what to do, I was scared and I wanted to feel like I could do something to help. The nurse explained that it is a natural feeling and suggested some small tasks I could do to feel better. I really feel like this was a turning point for me personally because I felt after that I could be honest that I was scared and that I didn’t know what to do with myself. The way that the nurses gave care to Roger preserved his dignity to the end and they upheld his wish to stay at home with his family by his side. Thank you so much to all at Pilgrims Hospices, that was very important to him.
This charity touches the lives of so many people, they do not judge they just give a warm welcome and unconditional care and support no matter if you’re a younger adult or an older person. Pilgrims is not just about end of life care, although that has proved so important to my loved ones.
“In May this year my uncle Martin Duff felt ill and his hands were constricting. He was admitted to hospital and he was then told he had end-stage terminal cancer. He had no idea he was so ill before that admission and nobody had any idea that he was seriously ill. He was given a bed at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury where staff continued to have a laugh with him and ensure he had choice and dignity for his last few weeks. He passed away peacefully with his daughter by his side at the hospice. He was only 56.
“This charity touches the lives of so many people, they do not judge they just give a warm welcome and unconditional care and support no matter if you’re a younger adult or an older person. Pilgrims is not just about end of life care, although that has proved so important to my loved ones. They also offer people support groups, pain clinics, emotional resilience, and fun activities for socialising.”
Sarah has chosen not to fundraise for this event but to make a personal donation: “My friends and family members have very generously sponsored me and my partner Matt Seward on multiple charity events over the past couple of years. Matt took part in the TransAtlantic Way Challenge cycle in June this year and raised almost £3,500 for Pilgrims Hospices. We wish to thank everyone who has helped us to raise important funds for the charity.”
The family is planning their continued support for Pilgrims Hospices by taking part in the Thanet 5k Colour Run on Sunday 20 October.