Hundreds take part in Letchworth-based hospice’s first event since lockdown
PUBLISHED: 13:55 20 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 20 October 2020
Cyclists came in their hundreds to take on Garden House Hospice Care’s Pedal for Pounds fundraiser on Sunday.
Starting at Letchworth Hall Hotel, participants of all ages donned their Lycra for the 30 and 50-mile routes around the countryside.
A minute silence was held for Stevenage woman Heidi McNeill, who was set to take part in the event, but sadly passed away on Friday.
Simon Rutt, Heidi’s partner, and his rickshaw support team took part and led the others over the start line.
READ MORE: Tribute to ‘truly inspirational’ Stevenage woman Heidi McNeill
Hundreds then followed, in timed, covid-secure waves.
The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the Garden House Hospice Care’s income, with an estimated loss of £1.3million this year alone.
Carla Pilsworth, director of income generation at the hospice, said: “We are overwhelmed by the support of our cyclists and their sponsors. The atmosphere at event HQ and out on the course was incredible from start to finish.
“Even with social distancing measures in place, there was an overwhelming feeling of our community coming together in times of a crisis.
“Thank you so much to everyone who supported our first non-virtual event since the pandemic. Every penny raised from Pedal for Pounds will help us continue to care for families in need of end of life care both at the hospice and out in the community, thank you.”
Head of events Richard Harbon added: “What a fantastic event, seeing so many cyclists riding for the hospice on Sunday was incredible.
“After what has been a difficult year for many, it was brilliant to see smiles on so many faces. Thank you to all those people that took part, cheered the riders on and helped to make it all happen.
“A big thank you also to Simon Rutt and all his family and friends for taking on the challenge on a rickshaw in memory of Heidi. A moment we will never forget.”
To date, the fundraising total for Pedal for Pounds has reached just over £43,000 which will pay to run the hospice for six days.
To sponsor Heidi’s rickshaw team visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SimonRutt3.
To find out more about Garden House Hospice Care’s services, or to support visit https://www.ghhospicecare.org.uk.
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