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Two Wheels, Two Countries, One Shared Goal

Can you imagine cycling from London to Paris against a backdrop of some of the world’s most picturesque, historical and mesmerizing locations and landscapes, all whilst raising money for St Oswald’s? Well that’s exactly what 12 of our incredible supporters have done.

The London to Paris cycle challenge has just finished and our supporters have collectively raised £18,000! With more to still come in, we can’t thank the participants enough.

The London to Paris cycle challenge is held over four days which involves biking from London, hopping on the ferry to Calais, cycling through local quaint villages to the end destination of the Eiffel Tower, Paris. The final day was a chance to visit local attractions and relax after cycling roughly 300 miles.

Gemma Bradley from Gateshead, completed the challenge with her sister Kate in memory of their Dad who passed at the Hospice.

Kate and I were doing this in memory of our Dad who died 10 years ago this year and who was cared for by St Oswald's Hospice. We knew we’d have to do a big challenge to get people to sponsor us and this definitely took us out of our comfort zone but it was something we could do together. It felt like a really special way to remember him - and to ask other people to remember him too through fundraising with us. We really have been humbled by how the different communities who knew our Dad have got behind us.

 

There were a few hairy moments - cycling out of central London and then in and out of Paris probably the main ones - but we loved every minute. I'd definitely recommend it for people who are considering their next trip and I would happily help anyone out with either advice or help with fundraising.

 

We’d also like to say thanks to all of the St Oswald's team for their encouragement along the way.

Andy McManus, aged  49 from North Shields, completed the bike ride with his two children, Natalie, 28 and Andrew, 24, to thank the Hospice after supporting their brother and uncle, David, who had a brain tumour. David, who was a keen cyclist himself, first came to the Hospice for pain and symptom management in October 2016, later returning to St Oswald’s where he died in April 2017.

Andy tells us about his motivations to take part in the 300 mile challenge:

St Oswald’s gave Dave such wonderful care, I owe it to him and St Oswald’s to give something back. Dave was a cyclist himself so he’d be so proud of us doing something like this.

 

I felt nervous before I started but it was something we all looked forward to doing together. We did try to get out to train together but the longest bike ride I managed to do was 50 miles. We cycled 95 miles on our first day!

 

I’m raising funds for St Oswald’s so they can continue their amazing care and support for so many, making lives for families and friends as tolerable as possible under very difficult situations and circumstances.

We’re encouraging people to make 2018 the year you achieve something you’ve always wanted to do, by getting involved in our ‘Life List’ campaign. The Life List asks supporters what challenge or adventure they have always meant to do but never got round to organising and helps them to make it happen. The supporter will then raise funds through sponsorship for the hospice, along with making their own ambition reality.

Maya Gorton, 28 from Heaton commented:

I definitely want to do more now, it was such a good experience and I really enjoyed it. I thought it would be a lot harder than it was but I surprised myself. I hadn't done much training, mainly just cycling to and from work and going to the coast every so often. I can say now cycling to work has never felt so easy!

 

The atmosphere when we arrived in Paris was incredible. We cycled in and went round the big roundabout a few times. Everyone was clapping and cheering and all the cars were sounding their horns in support. It was an amazing challenge to be a part of and seeing my friends at the end of the finish line was perfect!

Leathers the Accountants had an incredible 6 people sign up to take part in the London to Paris cycle Challenge. With some competitive people in the team we caught up with some of the team.

Zoe Lawson, Manager at Leathers the Accountants commented:

“St Oswald’s is a charity close to my heart as the hospice has helped family members in the past, so it was an easy decision to raise some money for them, but I wanted to do something which would be a real challenge and a big personal achievement. Also, I wanted to prove to the guys who cycle in the office that I could do it!

 

The night before the ride I could hardly sleep, but I loved it!  I didn’t expect there to be so many laughs, and for it to be so much fun – that we all stayed together, did the ride as a team, and made new cycling friends, made it all worthwhile.

 

St Oswald’s offers everything from runs, cycles, climbs, swims as well as other less physical challenges. The full range of activities on offer and more information is available from: www.stoswaldsuk.org/lifelist

We also have the London to Paris Cycle challenge happening again on 12th-16th September 2018, spaces are limited so please contact our Fundraising Team on 0191 246 9123 for more information or visit our website here.

 

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