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Hundreds of Cyclists Raise Thousands For Local Hospice
Hundreds of cyclists took to the roads around Staffordshire to help raise thousands of pounds for a local hospice. The Cycle St Giles event encouraged more than 600 people to get in the saddle and take to two wheels in aid of St Giles Hospice at Whittington, near Lichfield, on Sunday 10th September. The annual bike ride was divided into three separate routes covering 25, 40 and 75 miles, with more than 300 people tackling the longest route. But whatever the course, all of which passed through delightful Staffordshire villages, there was fantastic and enthusiastic support from the local community, with marshals and drink and feeding stations also in attendance.
St Giles events fundraiser Zoe Westwood said: "It was a brilliant day and we really appreciate all the support from our entrants, volunteers, marshals and staff. It was an incredibly busy day with registration starting at 8am. Our last rider got back in at just before 6pm but everyone made it back safely and the feedback from the event has been brilliant! We owe a big thank you to everyone who helped Sunday's race happen, from the entrants to the people who turned up to make tea, hand out goody bags, marshalled the course and generally did what needed to be done to make it an amazing day."
The event was sponsored by Smurfit Kappa, with Zipvit providing energy bars and gels for the feed stations throughout and the team at Greggs welcoming everyone back with goody bags. Local cycling specialists Bike Bot and 2 Wheels Only provided maintenance on the day and riders were supported by ABC Training services. Riders had to pay £30 per entry in order to take part in the cycling event on the day.
Added Zoe: "We saw people attending who were taking on their first cycle ride and others who were using the 75-mile race as a warm-up for Birmingham Velo. But, whatever the level people were at there were huge amounts of mutual support and it was wonderful to see how much the riders supported each other. We are still working out how much money the cycle ride has raised as so many people are still collecting in sponsorship but we expect the event to raise more than £30,000 for the hospice. We want to thank everyone who has helped raise money to help us support families living with illnesses which may not be curable in the local area."
Three different routes passed through various local villages
Route A, which was described as moderate, and was over a 25 mile distance, covered Walton On Trent, Rosliston, Netherseal, Clifton Campville, Haunton and Harlaston. The 40 mile Route B, which was graded as intermediate, covered the villages of Walton On Trent, Coton in the Elms, Netherseal, Austrey, No Man's Heath, Orton on the Hill, Shuttington, Clifton Campville, Haunton and Harlaston. And the final Route C course, described as challenging and which covered a distance of 75 miles, took cyclists on a ride through Coton in the Elms, Marchington Cliff, Abbots Bromley, picturesque Cannock Chase, Great Haywood, Milford, Upper Longdon, Handsacre, and Kings Bromley.
St Giles Hospice is a registered charity offering high-quality specialist care free of charge for people living with diseases which may not be curable as well as providing support for their families and carers. Patients come from across the hospice's catchment area, which ranges from Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Atherstone in the east, to Cannock and Walsall in the west – and from Burton and Uttoxeter in the north, to Sutton Coldfield and Coleshill in the south. Care is offered at the hospice's centres in Whittington, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall and or in patients' own homes across the region. St Giles spends more than £9 million a year providing its specialist services and with little more than a third of this funded by the Government, the registered charity relies heavily on donations and income generation from the local community.