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.
Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end of life care given on its wards to its Wellbeing Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.
4th June 2018
Divas on Wheels charity cycle is back
Pilgrims Hospices popular ladies cycle will return on Sunday 24 June riding from a brand-new venue, The Independent Pedaler in Bridge near Canterbury.
Last year the Divas on Wheels charity cycle ride raised over £19,000. Pilgrims fundraising team hope even more cyclists will take part this year and raise more vital funds to provide important services for patients, families and friends who require specialist care and support.
Lydia Todd, Pilgrims Community Fundraising Officer, said: “I’m very excited about this event, the route is absolutely beautiful with lots of support along the way and plenty of pampering afterwards back at the Divas Village.
“You can even visit The Independent Pedaler for a pre-ride safety check.”
Cyclists can choose to ride either a 25-mile or 50-mile route through the countryside. If you’re new to cycling have no fear, dozens of Pilgrims Bike Heroes will join you, leading small groups or offering roadside repairs to anyone who needs it.
This year’s Divas on Wheels ride is encouraging riders on electric bikes to join the 100s of riders already registered for this female friendly ride. Sarah Treadwell and Elaine Wickham from E-Flow Cycles, electric bicycles specialists in Wealden Forest, are generously sponsoring the event for the second year, along with Pink Lady Apples and The Independent Pedaler, a cycling café that is providing the new venue for registration, start and finish and will be the home of the popular Divas Village for cyclists to relax and enjoy some pampering after the ride.
Sarah said: “We have around 30 riders from the E-Flow Riders Club who will be taking part with the regular cycles and hope for even more to join us. We’ve been selling electric bikes for two years now and have customers who have returned to cycling after years out of the saddle. It’s not an excuse for an easy ride, it’s an opportunity to take part in activities that perhaps you’ve not felt capable of previously. You can pick the level of effort you wish to put in and or just help with some extra pedal power on the rises.
“It’s brilliant for commuting; we also promote e-cycling to those who are less mobile. From post-op knee and hip rehab, to weight, health, age and fitness limitations, the electric assistance makes exercise achievable for everyone. E-bikes have revolutionised the way people think about cycling.”
Sarah and Elaine will also be part of the Pilgrims Bike Heroes team supporting riders along the journey.
The pair have raised over £6,000 for Pilgrims Hospices care over the year, which has included a cost to cost ride. “I feel strongly about supporting the care that Pilgrims provide; my nan was cared for in the Canterbury hospice some years ago. Our family have first-hand experience of the wonderful treatment she received as well as the aftercare my mum received at a point when she was most fragile and needed their support.
I feel strongly about supporting the care that Pilgrims provide.
Last October, the E-Flow Cycles Club e-biked across the country, from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, through the Lake District and Pennines. They also climbed and descended Snowdon and visited various bike parks across the country. This year they are riding in Morzine, Les Gets and Les Arcs in the Alps.
Be part of this Pilgrims Hospices cycling event and help raise money for the next family who needs our care. Together, you can make a difference.
Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end of life care given on its wards, to its Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.