Frame on as cyclists raise thousands for hospice

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Hundreds of cyclists got on their bikes to raise much needed funds for St Catherine’s Hospice.

The hospice’s Big Charity Bike Ride took place on Sunday, featuring a 20-mile and a 50-mile route, each starting and finishing at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club.

St Catherine's Hospice Big Charity Bike Ride sets off from Preston Grasshoppers

St Catherine's Hospice Big Charity Bike Ride sets off from Preston Grasshoppers

More than 350 riders took part and so far £24,374 has been pledged in sponsorship.

The fun family-friendly event was sponsored by Mini’s Play Centre and saw young and old take part.

Members of The Hall Players were among those involved. The group completed a group bike ride of the Guild Wheel last summer and had so much fun they were keen to do something similar this year.

The day also saw two friends from a Lancashire mountain biking club take to a tandem for the first time.

Joanne Pooley and Jolene Pemberton are keen off-road mountain bikers, so decided to set themselves more of a challenge by taking part together on a tandem.

Meanwhile, young Charlie Askam from Cottam got on his bike and raised £350 for St Catherine’s and Cancer Research and £200 for the Mark Lamoury Lands End to John O’Groats cycle ride raising money in memory of Nicola Lamoury, who was a teaching assistant at Charlie’s school, Barton St Lawrence.

Cyclists from Abbey Village Mountain Bike Team and Leyland Packaging also took part.

Lynne Whittaker, senior fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who pedalled for St Catherine’s in our Big Charity Bike Ride, as well as all those who generously sponsored riders and all the volunteers who gave up their time to help on the day. St Catherine’s wouldn’t be able to do the important work it does without this amazing support from our community.

“It was a brilliant event with a lovely atmosphere - the sunshine was certainly the icing on the cake! The fantastic amount of money raised in sponsorship will help fund our specialised services for patients and their families across the central Lancashire area”

St Catherine’s Hospice Care is an adult hospice serving people from Chorley, Longridge, Preston and South Ribble. It provides specialised palliative and ‘end of life’ care for people living with conditions that can be treated but not cured. Examples include cancer, heart failure, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease.

It costs around £5m to run the hospice each year and it receives only just over a quarter of this huge total from the NHS, with the remaining £3.7m raised through charitable support.