At 7am on Wednesday 14 June over fifty cyclists hit the road from St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham heading for Paris on one of the hottest days of the year. Four days and 300 miles later, all 52 riders cycled together triumphantly through the famous boulevards of Paris to complete their journey in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower on Saturday 17 June, having jointly raised over £100,000 to fund the work of the hospice across South East London.
Marein Overbeeke, 42, store manager at Laithwaites Wine in Locksbottom, was among a group of over 40 hospice supporters and ten St Christopher’s staff who have been training exceptionally hard for more than six months to undertake the gruelling four day trip, which involved cycling up to 95 miles in just one day.
Marein comments, “I’ve met an amazing bunch of individuals taking part in this bike ride, and arriving in Paris en masse was really emotional for me. I’ve written three names on my bike frame who I dedicate this ride to; all loved ones of Laithwaite’s customers’ who were looked after by St Christopher’s.
“At Laithwaite’s Wine we first got involved with St Christopher’s four years ago when we donated wine for the hospice’s annual fundraising event in Keston and our shop’s staff went along to help out at the event in their free time. This year we wanted to see if we could be involved in celebrating St Christopher’s 50 years of amazing work and so we decided to sponsor the London to Paris bike ride. We were pleased to sponsor all the kits, have an in-store promotion to donate funds as well as supply a glass of champagne at the finish line by the Eiffel Tower!
“St Christopher’s is so important within our community – we’ve had customers who have lost a loved one who has been looked after or supported by the hospice – and we really feel obliged and proud to help and support in any way we can”.
It’s not too late to donate funds to support St Christopher’s London to Paris event – visit http://bit.ly/2soa3oy
In 2017, St Christopher’s is celebrating its 50th anniversary – and by extension the 50th anniversary of modern hospice care – with a variety of events, including the ‘50:50’ event (50 riders cycling for 50 years of hospice care, from London to Paris).
For further St Christopher’s anniversary events, see www.stchristophers.org.uk/event-type/50-years