Havens Hospices, which includes Fair Havens, Little Havens and The J’s, set off on Thursday 26th September and were joined by seventeen supporters to cycle a total of 207 miles from Little Havens in Thundersley to Bruges, finishing late on Saturday night.
Cyclists taking part spent the weekend journeying through the beautiful Essex countryside via Harwich to Holland and down to the delightful medieval Flemish city known as the Venice of the North, known for its chocolate, culture and architecture.
Many of the team were taking part with friends or colleagues including members of intu Lakeside’s management team – Carly North, Sarah Rivett and Nicola Pickford.
Sarah said, “This year the staff at intu Lakeside decided that we wanted to support Little Havens Hospice as our Charity of the Year and when we heard about this challenge we decided to take it on as part of our year of fundraising. None of us have ever cycled this far, so it was physically tough at times, but the experience was fantastic and we all cheered one another on, had a laugh together and it was great to complete it as a team! From all of us I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored us, we’re on target to raising £5,000 which is amazing.”
Daniel Hardcliff and Simon Lawrence work together at the family run business Stibbards and Sons and decided to take on the challenge to raise money for the charity and have collected almost £2,000 so far. Daniel explains, “We have a close working relationship with the charity and understand how important the work is that they do so wanted to support them. The ride was fun, getting to know everyone on the team was great over the three days and actually it was a great way to see the sights.”
Simon added, “On a personal level, I wanted to support the charity to say thank you for the wonderful care they gave my Grandad at Fair Havens – they really supported him and the rest of my family and we’ll always be grateful. I’ll definitely be suggesting joining the charity of a bike ride in the future, because they really did make sure it was suitable for all abilities and so it made it really enjoyable.”
All money raised by the team will help the charity continue to care for adults, babies, children and young people from across Essex with life-limiting illnesses and their families, by controlling pain and medication, offering respite and caring for them at the end of their lives.
Emma Hamilton, Challenges Fundraiser organised the bike ride and joined the cyclists in the challenge. She said, “What a wonderful weekend, I had a great time supporting and cycling with Team Havens. The weather at times was a little bit grizzly, but even torrential rain couldn’t dampen the team spirit.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to my colleague Jane Hopkins and all of our wonderful volunteer crew who gave up their time and expertise to support us along the way from supplying snacks or lunches to helping repair punctures on the roadside to just cheering us on you have all been absolute superstars.
“Finally, I would like to thank every single member of Team Havens, you have all been amazing over the weekend and it has been an absolute pleasure to ride with you all. You’re all Havens Heroes and are on target to raise £28,000 which will truly help us continue ‘Making every day count’ for everyone we care for, for as long as we’re needed.
If you’ve been inspired by Team Havens and would like to find out how you can challenge yourself to help raise money for Havens Hospices, please click here.