Spring was in the air for Cycle Challenge on Bank Holiday Sunday
More than 1,000 cyclists enjoyed a beautiful Spring Bank Holiday Sunday exploring the stunning Kent countryside at the 13th annual Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge.
Riders of all abilities took part, collectively cycling more than 76,000 miles to support the skilled and compassionate end-of-life care the charity provides across east Kent.
So far this year’s event has raised almost £100,000; with indications showing the total could reach as much as £110,000 for Pilgrims, once all donations and Gift Aid are finalised.
Individuals, families, friends, cycling clubs, local businesses and services throughout Kent, took on the 30, 50, 75, 100 or 125-mile challenge. Bright skies and dry roads were the perfect conditions for Pilgrims’ flagship fundraising event. Ever since the event first took place in 2010, supporters have raised an astonishing £1.2 million pounds to help people who need Pilgrims’ care within our community.
All routes started and finished at Pilgrims Event Village at the University of Kent, near Canterbury. Returning cyclists could enjoy a celebratory atmosphere, sports massage and well-earned refreshments after collecting their commemorative medal.
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.”
“I must also thank Kent Sport, Biketart, Barretts and London Array for their wonderful support for the event, which enables us to maximise the amount of funds we can raise for hospice care.”
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.
13th August 2019
Cyclists had wind beneath their wheels
A particularly blustery day swept over 120 cyclists along the Divas on Wheels cycle challenge on Sunday 11 August. Pilgrims Hospices anticipate the event will raise over £9,000, which will provide 450 hours of specialist end-of-life care to people who need their care in east Kent. Although the riders experienced a lot of wind out on the route, it didn’t hold them back and the enjoyment of the day overrode the wind that they were fighting.
This popular event has raised thousands of pounds for important hospice care over the years. This year a range of riders took part, from seasoned cyclists who are regular faces at Divas to brand-new participants who were taking part as their first challenge ride!
The energy and enthusiasm of the riders was quite exciting as they prepared to set off from The Independent Pedaler on Highland Court Farm in Bridge near Canterbury. Cyclists were undertaking either a 25-mile or 50-mile route through the beautiful Kent countryside to raise valuable funds for hospice care.
Riders were welcomed at rest and refreshment stops at Lord Whisky, Shepherdswell Village Hall and Wingham, where Pilgrims volunteers were ready with a well-deserved cake, nibbles, sweets, and all-important water. Those taking part were returning from 12:30pm with overwhelmingly positive feedback for the organisers about the route and the event.
Richard Davis, Pilgrims Hospices Chair of Trustees, attended to support the event and cheer on the riders at the start line and to learn about why they were taking part. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress also attended to say thank you to the cyclists and to give them their medals.
The day was an absolute success and it’s always lovely to speak to cyclists and hear why they’ve chosen to take part in our event.
Lydia Todd, Pilgrims Hospices
Lydia Todd, Pilgrims Challenge Events Fundraiser, said: “The day was an absolute success and it’s always lovely to speak to cyclists and hear why they’ve chosen to take part in our event and what’s inspired them to get involved in such a challenge.
“Although the day was windy this didn’t stop our riders enjoying a day, exploring the beautiful east Kent countryside on their bikes!
“Thank you to all of our cyclists who took part, our fantastic volunteers for generously donating their time to support the event and of course to our sponsors E-Flow Cycles who allow more of the money raised to go directly into hospice care, and thanks also to The Independent Pedaler for kindly donating us the space for our event HQ.”
Each year, Pilgrims offers care and comfort to more than 2,500 people who are coping with an illness that cannot be cured.
1st July 2019
Lynne gets on her bike for Pilgrims
Lynne Digby from Ashford will be riding the Divas on Wheels cycling event on Sunday 11 August for Pilgrims Hospices to support end of life care in east Kent.
She took up cycling earlier this year and has taken part in cycling events to support charities, which have included Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge and the London to Brighton Bike Ride.
Lynne is a social worker for Pilgrims Hospices and said: “I decided to get into cycling to improve my fitness level. I took on Pilgrims Cycle Challenge in May with my daughter Chloe and really enjoyed it.
“This time my sister Julie is coming with me to ride Divas on Wheels, she’s also new to cycling. We’re planning to take part in the training rides to boost our confidence and familiarise ourselves with some of the route.
“We’re cycling the 50km route; it looks really pretty and runs through some amazing countryside, we can’t wait.”
For me, supporting people at such difficult times is vital and very rewarding. Working at Pilgrims, I’m able to see the true value of social work.
Lynne has been part of the Pilgrims team for two years and supports patients and families to cope with problems within their everyday lives.
“When I joined the charity, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect at Pilgrims. I’m part of a truly amazing team of colleagues and, for me, supporting people at such difficult times is vital and very rewarding. Working at Pilgrims I’m able to see the true value of social work.” Lynne explained.
“I love cycling, it really helps me to relax in mind and body. I always feel so energised when I’ve completed a challenge, especially knowing that it has contributed in supporting charities continue their good work.
“I think my best advice to fellow cyclists taking part in Divas on Wheels would be; get involved with some of the supported training rides. It helps build confidence and it’s great to be with other cyclists sharing the experience.”
Lydia Todd, Pilgrims Fundraising Officer, said: “Since 2013 the Divas ride has raised more than £84,000 for hospice care within the community. Lynne is a brilliant supporter and colleague – we are busy recruiting more of our staff to join in with the ride.
“If we can raise an additional £15,500 this year we could achieve a magic £100,000 since the event’s conception six years ago.”
Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,400 people in east Kent coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.