Experiencing Pilgrims Hospice care has inspired Polly Troth and her boyfriend Daniel Millington to take to their custom built tandem for the much-loved annual Pilgrims Cycle Challenge on Sunday 6 May.
Polly, a teacher from Dover, and her boyfriend Dan, are taking part in the popular charity cycle ride for the first time and undertaking the Classic 45-mile route through the beautiful east Kent countryside in memory of Polly’s Grandmother, Joan Troth, fondly know as Nana, who was cared for at Pilgrims Hospices in January.
Polly said: “Nana was born and bred in Canterbury and was cared for at the hospice there. I had an image in my head that made me think of a hospice as a sad place to be, but I could not have been more wrong! It was bright and cheerful, with welcoming care staff and volunteers. The nurses were amazing and we were completely overwhelmed with the level of care my Grandmother received. The staff were absolutely flawless and treated her and our family with compassion, kindness and love throughout her time in the hospice; as they do with the many families who need their help.
The staff were absolutely flawless and treated her and our family with compassion, kindness and love throughout her time in the hospice; as they do with the many families who need their help.
“We saw the Cycle Challenge promotion and said, ‘let’s do it!’. Although we are regular cyclists, we’ve never undertaken such a personal challenge. We will be forever grateful to the hospice and hope to complete the ride as a way of showing our gratitude.”
Their bicycle built for two was expertly created by Dan using pieces from donated bikes and the pair has been busy building up their cycle miles in preparation for the big ride in May.
“Dan loves a project and he soon had the tandem ready for our practise rides. Our motto is ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ and I’m sure it’ll be put to the test; 45 miles on a tandem is a very long way!” Polly added.
Polly’s dad Ashley and his brother Russell are more seasoned cyclists and have challenged themselves to complete the 100 mile ‘Century’ route. Having ridden the Cycle Challenge before, they will be supporting Pilgrims Hospices once again with their pedal power this Bank Holiday Sunday.
Polly told us: “We’ve already passed the £300 fundraising target we set ourselves and really hope to achieve £500 for Pilgrims Hospices. If we do, that could pay for more than 24 hours of nursing care in one of their three hospices in Canterbury, Ashford and Thanet. Thank you to everyone who is being so generous and supporting us.”
You can support Polly and Dan by making a donation to their fundraising effort on their Just Giving page.
There is still time to register for the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge and take on your own 45, 75 or 100 mile challenge for Pilgrims on Sunday 6 May. The event starts and finishes at the Sports Pavilion, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7SR and on the day registrations are welcome. You can check out full event information and register online or contact firstname.lastname@example.org on 01227 812609.
Every mile pedalled will raise vital funds to help Pilgrims provide their skilled and compassionate end-of-life care for people and their families right across east Kent.
The Cycle Challenge is made possible by the kind support of local businesses and organisations. Thank you to Kent Sport, Biketart, Barretts, Kingsfords Solicitors, Noel Tatt, South Coast and London Array for their involvement.
Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life limiting illness. The charity offers a range of services: from end of life care given on its wards, to its new Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.