Willen Hospice to hold first ‘face-to-face’ fundraising event since lockdown

    Event planners at Willen Hospice will be stepping away from their Zoom screens for the first time in months, when they welcome cyclists to this year’s Ride for Willen Cycling Sportive.

    The popular event, which takes place on Sunday 30 August, challenges cyclists to complete 40, 65, or 85 miles. This year there are brand new routes starting from a socially distanced base in Queens Avenue Car Park in Newport Pagnell. The signposted routes will take cyclists along beautiful country roads, and through picturesque villages.

    The event will run from 6am – 6pm, with staggered start times and a limited number of cyclists per timeslot to ensure social distancing. Instead of chipped-timing, cyclists taking part are being asked to link their Strava to their fundraising page, so they can share their achievement and the Hospice can keep a record of their distance.

    Tracey Jago, Events Manager, said, “I am so pleased that our Ride for Willen Sportive can go ahead this year. At the start of lockdown, we had to quickly learn how to run virtual events, and even though they were successful and great fun, I am looking forward to seeing our supporters ‘in real life’, and feel the buzz and energy of an organised event. I have seen lots of cyclists out on the roads these past few months with the ‘bike boom’, so I hope that lots of them will sign up and support their local Hospice.”

    The Sportive is open to individuals, small groups and junior cyclists (14 – 17 years old). It costs just £25 for adult entry, and £10 for junior entry, with a minimum fundraising ask of £50.

    Despite the challenges of the pandemic, staff and volunteers at the Hospice have been working extremely hard to care for patients, including those with Covid-19. They have also extended their support further into the community by offering a bereavement service on behalf of MK Council for those who’ve lost loved ones at a care home in Milton Keynes. At the same time, the charity has seen a huge drop in income, with their shops closed for months and usual community fundraising activity cancelled or postponed. The Sportive will make a huge difference to help care for patients during the pandemic and beyond.

    Sign up and support the Hospice by visiting, www.willen-hospice.org.uk/rideforwillen

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