Over two hundred and twenty female cyclists flexed their pedal power in support of the hospice this Sunday for the fourth Pilgrims Hospices Divas on Wheels cycle challenge.
Setting out from Freewheel Cycling Café and Pub near Faversham, riders could choose from either a 25-mile or 50 mile route through the beautiful Kent countryside.
Deborah Kellond, Pilgrims Hospices Community Fundraising Manager, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who came along on this very warm summer’s day to support the hospice. For many of the riders this was the first time they had taken on a challenge like this. They’ve already shown such dedication, coming to training rides to build their fitness for the big day. It’s been great to see them enjoying the atmosphere now and succeeding in their challenge.”
Riders were supported by 35 dedicated volunteers including experienced riders or ‘Bike Heroes’, leading small groups and offering roadside repairs and help to anybody who needed it. Then they crossed the finish to receive their medals followed by scrummy cakes, snacks, a chance to tame their helmet hair, relax listening to live music from Jazz Omnibus and even enjoy a free body massage to ease away any aches and pains.
Divas is such a supportive event, with the riders encouraging each other on the way.
Each year, Pilgrims offers care and comfort to more than 2,400 people who are coping with an illness that cannot be cured.
Sarah Martins, Senior Ward Sister for Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury was among the riders and took on the 50 mile challenge as part of her 40th birthday bucket list. She said: “My Mum was cared for as a patient at Pilgrims 10 years ago. Having experienced the difference that care makes, I feel very privileged as a Pilgrims nurse to be part of that service. It felt really good to take part in this challenge, knowing the funds we have raised will help us continue to be there for the next family that needs us.”
As well as the high quality end of life care Pilgrims gives on its wards and in the community the charity has also launched a new programme of wellbeing activities to support people earlier in their journey.
Adds Sarah: “None of this would be possible without the generous support we receive from our community, so a huge thank you to all our Pilgrims Divas, together we really make a difference for local families.”
Pilgrims would like to thank our event sponsors, Pink Lady Apples, E-Flow Cycles and The Freewheel without whom this event would not be possible.
If you, or someone close to you, is coping with a life limiting illness visit Wellbeing to find out more about the support that’s available.
For details of Pilgrims fundraising events and challenges in your area visit ‘How can I help?’