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.
Nigel Dodds, from Brixton, who is a Nurse Consultant at St Christopher’s Hospice, was among the group of 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.
Nigel, 47, explains why he took part, “It’s a really fantastic feeling and sense of achievement that we’ve all finished the ride to Paris! I actually really enjoyed training for this event; I trained with a couple of colleagues who also did the challenge, and my long-suffering partner (who didn’t take part!)
“We’ve done all this to raise funds for St Christopher’s. Like all hospices, we rely upon donations from the public to keep us going, and at St Christopher’s we need to raise over £14million every year.
“Every year we support over 6000 people affected by death and dying in the London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Croydon and Bromley. I’m a senior nurse in the community team at St Christopher’s. We are a team of nurses who have done extra training to specialise in supporting people at the end of life, in their own homes. We visit people 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and 24 hours a day, aiming to help people to stay at home until they die, if that’s their choice. Without public donations we could not do this.”
The St Christopher’s staff team encompassed some of the wide variety of skills and expertise needed at the hospice, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. The amazing team of peddlers included a senior nurse, the head of facilities, the AHP lead, a trustee, an occupational therapist, as well as a members of the communications team, the fundraising team and the arts team.
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