Thousands raised as Cycle Challenge celebrates 10th year
Cyclists took to the Kentish countryside on a breezy Spring Bank Holiday Sunday for Pilgrims Hospices annual Cycle Challenge.
This year celebrates the 10th anniversary of this much-loved event. Almost 1,200 riders took part collectively cycling more than 94,000 miles to support end-of-life care in east Kent. Early indications show the event will raise over £100,000 for Pilgrims Hospices.
Individuals, families, friends, cycle clubs, local businesses, and services throughout Kent took up the 45, 75, 100 or the latest addition to the distances, the 125-mile ride, on the day. It was a stark contrast to last year’s early May Bank Holiday when the temperature soared into the high 20’s, recording the hottest since the holiday was introduced in 1978. A more temperate 13 degrees made for a more comfortable ride this year.
All routes started and finished at the Pilgrims event village at the University of Kent, near Canterbury. Returning cyclists could enjoy a sports massage and well-earned refreshment after collecting their 10th anniversary commemorative medal.
It was brilliant to see such a strong show of support for Pilgrims!
Robert Grew, Events Fundraiser at Pilgrims Hospices
Robert Grew, Pilgrims event organiser, said: “It was brilliant to see such a strong show of support for Pilgrims! We congratulate all the riders in achieving their goals and for their incredible support for the end of life care Pilgrims provides.
“It’s a privilege to organise the event and, seeing it year after year I’m always reminded how much of a team effort it is. Our army of volunteers are just outstanding and gave up their bank holiday weekend to help make the whole experience safe and enjoyable for our riders. I can’t thank them enough! Nor the waves of cyclists who puff their way around the course in support each year.”
There are many exciting events and challenges taking place throughout the year to raise important funds for Pilgrims Hospices, click here to see our event listings. If you would like to speak with your local fundraising team visit fundraise for us.
Care is provided from three hospice sites in Ashford, Canterbury, and Thanet as well as in patients’ own homes. To offer these services to patients and their families the charity must raise £11 million each year from the generous local community.
16th April 2019
Turn on the pedal power for Pilgrims
The much-loved Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary on Sunday 5 May 2019. Every year, the event attracts over 1,200 people to don their helmets to achieve personal targets and explore the beautiful Kent countryside while raising vital funds to support local end-of-life care.
Richard Davis, Pilgrims Hospices chairman and regular cyclist, has participated in every ride since the very first Cycle Challenge in 2010 and will take to the roads and lanes of east Kent once again this year.
It’s always a great pleasure to meet so many dedicated cyclists who are all making an amazing contribution to end-of-life care within our community; listening to their stories of what hospice care has meant to them and their loved ones.
Richard Davis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Richard said: “I’m looking forward to riding alongside everyone again this year. The Cycle Challenge is a huge highlight in the fundraising calendar for Pilgrims and by far the largest of our annual events. Cyclists of all abilities, young and old, take part from all across east Kent and from much further afield too.
“I’ve enjoyed so many great experiences over the years and will be riding the 45-mile route between Canterbury and the Ashford hospice this time around. It’s always a great pleasure to meet so many dedicated cyclists who are all making an amazing contribution to end-of-life care within our community; listening to their stories of what hospice care has meant to them and their loved ones. Whichever distance you choose to cycle, you will enjoy a well signed route, full event support, renowned food stops and the amazing camaraderie of fellow cyclists along the way.
“By taking part in the Cycle Challenge you will be making a real difference to the lives of thousands of local people living with an incurable illness. Every pedal turned and pound raised will go to supporting our patients; making them comfortable, alleviating pain and enabling them to make the most of the time they have. With your help we can continue to be there for the next family who needs us.”
Over the past decade, our wonderful community of cyclists has raised more than £825,000 for Pilgrims Hospices. Now, we need your help to make the 10th anniversary Cycle Challenge the biggest yet and reach our goal of £1 million raised for local end-of-life care.
Debenhams Ashford team pedal to Liverpool and beyond for Pilgrims
Debenhams Ashford are the first team to get on their bikes and ride as part of Pilgrims Hospices My 10, Any 10 challenge.
A team of 30 staff came together to support Pilgrims Hospices on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 April by getting on their bikes in the County Square store. The team surpassed their own plans, riding a virtual distance of 300 miles from Ashford to Liverpool as part of Pilgrims’ new My 10, Any 10 challenge.
The team of all ages and abilities took turns of 10-30 minutes each to cycle for over five hours in total on two static bikes. The cycling contingent had planned to cycle to Brighton and to do 10 miles or km at a time, but the miles kept coming and the tired legs kept pedalling, so the team decided their end would be Liverpool instead.
Pilgrims is very close to our hearts, a member of staff was cared for at the hospice in Ashford. As a store we chose to take part in the My 10, Any 10 challenge to help raise much needed funds for local hospice care.
Amanda Bancroft, My 10 event organiser at Debenhams
Amanda Bancroft, one of the organisers from Debenhams, said: “We have chosen to support Pilgrims as it is a charity very close to our hearts, after a member of staff was cared for at the hospice in Ashford. As a store we chose to take part in the My 10, Any 10 challenge to help raise much needed funds for local hospice care.
“We took on the challenge of cycling the distance from Ashford to Brighton in store over two days but had so much fun that we ended up cycling the distance to Liverpool instead! We would like to say a big thank you to all of our staff and customers who supported us over the weekend, helping to raise a fantastic £1,000.
“A special thank you to the Park Club Gym in Ashford for loaning the two bikes, Water Direct who kindly donated bottles of water and the Debenhams Beauty Houses for donating prizes for the raffle, including a voucher from Longacres.
“We had such fun and hope to continue raising money for the hospice in April.”
My 10, Any 10 is an inclusive challenge for people of all ages to set themselves the target of achieving 10 of something.
This may be 10 circuits of a school field, 10 miles on a bike, a 10-hour static cycle, a 10km swim completed over several sessions in a pool, or it could be doing something 10 times to celebrate 10 years of Pilgrims’ Cycle Challenge.
My 10, Any 10 participants can either raise sponsorship for their chosen 10 or ask people to pay to take part in a group activity. Every pound raised will go towards the care of people living with incurable illness, and their families, here in east Kent.
This May the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge reaches 10 years of pedal power for Pilgrims. By taking part in the My 10, Any 10 and the Cycle Challenge you will be making a real difference to the lives of thousands of local people living with an incurable illness. Every pedal turned and pound raised will help support our patients; making them comfortable, alleviating pain and enabling them to make the most of the time they have. With your help we can continue to be there for the next family who needs us.