SPECIAL REPORT: 'Amazing' Twin Town riders project gears up for more support after successful business breakfast backed by Stevenage MP

PUBLISHED: 12:13 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 03 February 2017

The speakers from the Twin Towns 1000 business breakfast.

The speakers from the Twin Towns 1000 business breakfast.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A large number of thriving businesses and successful companies and entrepreneurs – as well as Stevenage’s Member of Parliament – gathered this morning to meet the inspiring Twin Towns riders and help aid their bid to raise £100,000 for the Lister Hospital.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland speaks to some of the Twin Towns 1000 organisers at the business breakfast.Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland speaks to some of the Twin Towns 1000 organisers at the business breakfast.

The intrepid cyclists and their supporters are in training to ride more than 1,000 kilometers to Stevenage’s twin towns in France and Germany in a bid to raise £100,000 for the town’s hospital.

The group held a well-attended business breakfast at the Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage Old Town today to showcase the work they have done already, to help raise further awareness of their cause. It also provided a networking opportunity for prominent members of the Stevenage business community to learn more.

The event was hosted by former professional footballer Neil Trebble who explained passionately: “Everyone has been helped or touched in some way by Lister Hospital – we are already up on where we expected to be in terms of our fundraising – why can’t we raise even more than our intended target?”

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland also attended the occasion and backed the riders by giving a speech to the assembled audience during the event.

An integral part of the TT1K team - Sally PicklesAn integral part of the TT1K team - Sally Pickles

Speaking exclusively to the Comet afterwards, the MP – who was also at the launch of the project back in October – said: “It’s amazing the enthusiasm that is coming from the business community to support such an ambitious target of raising £100,000 for the Lister Hospital.

“I’m proud to be working alongside them to help reach their target.”

The passionate ‘Twin Towns 1000’ riders officially launched their fundraising campaign at The Plaza outside the Lister in front of a large crowd of well-wishers, doctors and nurses from the hospital backing the cause, and assorted dignitaries.

The dedicated group have already seen some of the money raised from their tremendous fundraising be put to good use at the hospital.

Riz Tibio and Sam Skipp from the Lister Hospital also attended the event.Riz Tibio and Sam Skipp from the Lister Hospital also attended the event.

Also in attendance this morning was Riz Tibio from the Lister’s dementia care ward – who met with Twin Towns member and cancer survivor Graham Hoare last week to receive vital equipment worth more than £1,000 donated by the Twin Towns team which is already helping patients.

The funds were raised through spinathons – non-stop cycling events – at the David Lloyd gym in Stevenage and quiz nights – with many more charity fundraising events planned before the riders set off.

Riz said: “Thank you very much to everyone associated with Twin Towns for donating equipment which supports our aims of enhancing the quality of care we provide for our patients.”

The group of cyclists – also include BBC Radio’s Stevenage FC reporter Steve Watkins – plan to ride from the hospital to the port of Harwich, then from Holland onto Stevenage’s twin towns of Ingleheim near Frankfurt in Germany and Autun in the Burgundy region of France this summer.

TT1K captain Steve Watkins and team member Neil 'Trebbs' Trebble share a joke after they successfully presented today's event.TT1K captain Steve Watkins and team member Neil 'Trebbs' Trebble share a joke after they successfully presented today's event.

Captain Steve added: “Today’s business breakfast was a fantastic event. A big thank you to everyone who came to learn more.

“It’s so important to keep spreading the word.”

Polished presenter Neil added: “I’ve spoken in front of 3,000 people at 24 hours notice – but today was more nerve-wracking!”

Steve – along with Adrian Morris, Ben Austin, Darren Heath, Graham Hoare, Neil Trebble, Peter van Poelgeest, Peter White, Stephen Hibberd, Steve Clarkson, Brian Hopgood and Damion Roberts – will be taking on the gruelling nine-day route from June 9 to June 18.

They are also looking for as many riders as possible to join them on their first leg on Friday, June 9 from Stevenage to Harwich.

If you are an individual, school or business interested in learning how you can sponsor the team, or get involved to help raise cash for a very worthy cause visit their website www.twintowns1000.bike or you can email them info@twintowns1000.bike.

For more follow them on Twitter @twintowns1000.

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