A huge well done to the 170 intrepid cyclists who this month completed a 100km bike ride from Manchester to Blackpool to raise money for local people living with incurable illnesses.
On Sunday, 7 July, some 176 people rode 62 miles from the city to a warm welcome on the South Promenade in Blackpool. They included Mark Sherwin from Lowton and Trevor Whitworth from Leigh, who are pictured above.
The riders have raised thousands of pounds for Wigan and Leigh Hospice which provides specialist palliative and end of life care for over 1,100 patients every year.
A very personal cause
Darren Winrow, 48, from Hindley said: “I love doing the bike ride – this is my ninth one. The support along the way is great and the atmosphere too. There are people cheering you on along the route and I’ve been doing it for so long now I know people – it’s like a community.”
David Matthews, 30, from Hindley said: “I’m taking part with my dad Gary because the hospice looked after my grandad, Dennis Matthews. He died in the hospice in March so we’re doing it in his memory and to raise money – we’ve raised about £1,000.”
Jennie Gammack, 39, from Wigan raised around £400. She rode with her husband Steven Gammack, 47, and Wigan Borough CCG colleague, Catherine Johnson, 49, also from Wigan. It was the fourth time she had taken part and Steven’s third time.
Jennie said: “The hospice means so much to so many people but it is undervalued. Some people think it is there and will always be there without realising that it needs so much funding to keep it going. I took part because I wanted to give something back to my community and there is also the real achievement of completing the bike ride. The hospice look after us really well on the route too.”
Adrian Brown, 27, from Bickershaw works for Asda Leigh and took part in his fifth bike ride this time. He has raised more than £1,000 each time he has done it.
“I take part in memory of my mum Eileen Pritchard Brown. She didn’t have a link to the hospice but I like to support it as it’s a local charity and taking part in the bike ride every year keeps her memory alive. My neighbour told me I’m turning a negative into a positive and it has helped because I do feel it keeps her memory going and that’s a big thing for me.
“It has been brilliant today – it’s hard work but when you get to the end in Blackpool and you think about what everyone has donated it’s overwhelming.”
Thank you to everyone who made the ride possible
Maxine Armstrong, Fundraising and Lottery Manager at the hospice, said: “There was a real buzz about the bike ride this year – the weather wasn’t too hot and the bike riders seemed to all really enjoy themselves.
“A huge thank you must go to all of the volunteers who helped out on the day as well as Wincanton for the loan of a lorry, Wigan Investment Centre, Tyrers Coaches, The Lighthouse Church, Number One hotel and Blackpool Airport – we couldn’t have done it without them.
“Events like this are an essential part of our activity as we are a charity and receive less than a third of our funding from the NHS. Demand for our services is growing and fundraising events such as this help us to continue delivering our services.”