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.
Local GP, journalist, author and TV medic, Rosemary Leonard, 60, 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.
Rosemary comments, “Cycling from London-Paris is something I’ve wanted to do for ages. There’s been lots of fun and laughter along the way and I’m thrilled to have got to Paris!
“Training for this challenge has been enjoyable – I’ve definitely got a lot fitter but I still find cycling up hills really hard! To raise sponsorship I hosted a ‘Pelaton Ball’, along with my training friends and some other girlfriends for 250 people in my back garden. Jo Brand kindly came and did the auction for us, which was very entertaining. We raised £21,000. It was hard work, but really satisfying to raise so much – far more than we had hoped for!
Rosemary concludes, “I’m supporting St Christopher’s because they do a wonderful job looking after my patients, and also sadly some friends at the end of their life. Everyone deserves a ‘good death’ and at St Christopher’s you are in the best possible hands for that.”
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