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Two wheels, two countries and one cause for cyclist Laura

A keen cyclist from the North East has recently finished a cross-channel bike ride to raise funds for St Oswald’s.

Laura Adamson, who is originally from Newcastle but now lives in France, decided to support St Oswald’s after her late father died in the Hospice after battling cancer. As both Laura and her late father were cycling enthusiasts, Laura could think of no better way to raise money than with a ‘bucket list’ cycling challenge. To date, Laura has raised over £1,400 for St Oswald’s.

Laura, using her late father’s own bike which she lovingly restored so it was up to the challenge, planned her own challenge by cycling the 600 mile route from North Shields to Poitiers in France throughout April. It took her 8 days in total and she made several overnight stop offs in youth hostels.

Laura explains:

I chose to support St. Oswald's as they took such amazing care of my father throughout the later years of his battle with cancer. He was an in-patient twice, as well as a regular visitor to the day hospice on a Tuesday. It is also the last place I saw my Dad, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. The last day we spent together was in the beautiful garden outside his bedroom, where, as a family, we enjoyed fish and chips!

Laura continued:

The entire journey was extremely eventful. When I set off I was accompanied by my sister and Mum, who had organised a little surprise send off! They cycled with me to North Shields ferry which was lovely. On day five I got slightly lost around Nottingham, and ended up on a building site! Two friendly builders came up to tell me that I couldn't pass through, the road was under construction! I got my maps out and they sent me on my way, asking where my final destination was. I told them my story, and one of the builders handed me a £20 note towards the cause, I couldn't believe his generosity!

 Laura concluded:

It felt amazing to finish! I was welcomed back to Poitiers by friends who had prepared banners, flags, cake and champagne! I was emotional and very happy to see them! The reality hit me when, after a drink with friends, I cycled the final 5 km to my home. Looking down at the bike, it really hit me that my Dad's old yellow bike was now here with me in France, and I had got it here by pedalling the whole way! That felt really brilliant! I was astonished by how much was raised, especially as I have never done any form of fundraising before and am so grateful for everyone’s generosity. The cycle did me so much good, physically and mentally. There were times when it really did feel like my Dad was pedalling alongside me. This trip made me realise how important cycling is to me, and I definitely think there will be more long distance trips planned in the future!

Natalie Santamera, Community Fundraiser at St Oswald’s, said:

Laura’s challenge was immense and we’re so thrilled with the response she’s had and the huge amount she has managed to raise for us. As St Oswald’s can only continue to open our doors and provide the high quality of care we do by raising £7 million each year, fundraising is of great importance to us and we hugely value people like Laura for the commitment and determination they show. We’re hoping Laura’s exhausting but enjoyable adventure will spur many others on to completing similar challenges in aid of St Oswald’s.

If you have felt inspired by Laura’s story and wish to learn more about the fundraising opportunities at St Oswald’s, please click here.