Sweat was pouring as a cycling club endured an epic 14-hour marathon cycle – from Buckingham Palace to Chorley in one day – to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Chorley Cycling Club posed by the palace before they saddled up for the gruelling 240-mile cycle on Saturday (3 June), which has so far raised a whopping £12,000 for the charity.
The mammoth cycle was especially poignant for cyclist Stuart Williamson, 37, whose wife is part of the care team at Derian House.
Stuart, 37, a sales executive, from Darwen, said: “The weather was fantastic, the company was fantastic, and there was a proper team spirit. We stopped along the way for food – we definitely had plenty of it! I loved it. It was great fun.
“When we first thought up the challenge, it started as just a few friends that wanted to take part, but it grew and grew. The amount we have raised is staggering. And knowing first-hand the valuable support that the staff at Derian House provide for families makes it all so worthwhile.”
Stuart’s wife, Caroline Williamson, works as a wellbeing and play worker at Derian House, helping children with life-limiting conditions express themselves and have fun through play. She also teaches swimming lessons at the hospice – thought to be the first of its kind.
Caroline said: “What Stuart and the Chorley Cycling Club has done is absolutely phenomenal. We were all there to cheer them on at the end – and with a well-deserved beer too! The amount they have raised will mean the world to the children and families of Derian House and I know it will be money well-spent.”
Chorley Cycling Club set off in the early hours of the morning and arrived in Chorley at 11pm after a 14-hour ride.
The club’s oldest member, Chris Rainford, 59, said: “Nobody in our group had ever ridden this far before – so it really was an epic challenge. We wanted to raise as much as we could for our dedicated charity, Derian House, that does amazing work for families across the North West. This was on our minds as we pushed ourselves towards the end. This challenge is definitely one of the hardest things you could do. Some members of the club had never ridden more than 100 miles before!”
“The key to finishing a ride is eating, especially in a ride like this because at this distance you burn around 10,000 calories. So we made stops along the way at cafes and pubs. The challenge was extremely tough, especially with it being a hot day, but it was all worth it for Derian House – you hear about so much about all the good that the charity does for its families.”
Kerry Pritchard, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “What a huge challenge and an incredible effort! We are so grateful to everyone at Chorley Cycling Club who put in their all to raise money for our children and families.
“While care is free for families, it will cost £6million to run services at Derian House in 2023. We couldn’t do what we do without the dedication of our supporters who put in their all to raise money for our children and their families.”
You can still donate to the Chorley Cycling Club’s challenge for Derian House: https://www.justgiving.com/page/chris-rainford-1680865687951
Derian House, based in Chorley, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.