Westbury Wheelies take on Tour de Bristol
Colleagues at Westbury-on-Trym GP surgery are taking part in the Tour de Bristol bike ride on 26 June to raise money for St Peter's Hospice.
The ride was inspired by the news that St Peter's Hospice has a £2 million plus deficit due to the cancellation of major fundraising events and the temporary closure of the charity's shops. As a result St Peter’s have had to close five of their 15 in-patient hospice beds.
Dr Kate Jenkins says: “Seventeen staff are taking part including our pharmacist, nurses, GPs and administration staff. We are trying to go together as one big group so that it’s a real team bonding event.
“Everyone is tired after the last year and we all need something that’s fun to do, boost morale and bring people together again. Physically, we’ve been separated into two floors at work due to restrictions and social distancing. It’s come at a good time to serve as a bit of a distraction, to boost morale and bring some positivity to the staff who have been brilliant with rolling out vaccines and coping with the ever changing situation this last year has brought.”
The Tour de Bristol route takes cyclists on a ride through the countryside of South Gloucestershire. There are three levels of difficulty, 40km, 65km and 100km, and because of the novices in the group who haven’t tackled a bike ride in years the Westbury Wheelies are cycling the 40km distance.
“There is a huge variety of levels of those taking part,” says Kate.
“One partner has cycled part of the Tour de France route whereas some of our riders haven't been on a bike for over 10 years, so training will be a challenge."
The Westbury Wheelies have set a Just Giving target of £1,000 (of which £900 is already raised). The group is keen to raise as much money as possible to help St Peter’s Hospice. Their entrance fees are being matched by the Partners at the surgery and donated to St Peter's, and they hope to gain support from local businesses too.
Kate says: “St Peter's is the only hospice serving the whole of Bristol, and it provides a huge support to our patients and local community. We were so shocked to hear how they were struggling to fund their in-patient beds. This is a completely dire situation, when this year with the pandemic, the demand for their services has been at its greatest.
“It’s spurred us on to get a team together to raise some much needed funds for this hugely worthy cause."
To sponsor the ride see: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/westburywheelies