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Pedal for Pounds a Huge Success

Last Sunday 18th October saw 320 cyclists take on Pedal for Pounds, a community bike ride and fundraiser organised by Garden House Hospice Care.

Starting at Letchworth Hall Hotel, cyclists of all ages and abilities donned their lycra and took on 30 and 50 mile routes around the stunning local countryside of Hertfordshire.

Heidi McNeill, 49 from Stevenage, was supported by the Hospice following a short diagnosis with small cell lung cancer. Heidi was determined to take part in the fundraising event as her dying wish, with the goal of achieving 30 miles in a rickshaw cycled by her family and friends. Sadly, two days before the event Heidi passed away. Her friends and family came together and cycled in her memory carrying out Heidi’s final wishes. The Hospice held a minute silence for Heidi, before cheering Simon, Heidi’s partner and his rickshaw support team over the start line.

Hundreds then followed, in timed, covid-secure waves, taking on routes of beauty to help raise vital funds for the Hospice.

The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the Garden House Hospice Care’s income, with an estimated loss of £1.3million this year alone.

Carla Pilsworth is Director of Income Generation at the Hospice:

“We are overwhelmed by the support of our cyclists and their sponsors. The atmosphere at event HQ and out on the course was incredible from start to finish. Even with social distancing measures in place, there was an overwhelming feeling of our community coming together in times of a crisis. Thank you so much to everyone who supported our first non-virtual event since the pandemic. Every penny raised from Pedal for Pounds will help us continue to care for local families in need of end of life care both at the Hospice and out in the community, thank you.”

Richard Harbon, Head of Events at the Hospice said:

“What a fantastic event, seeing so many cyclists riding for the Hospice on Sunday was incredible. After what has been a difficult year for many, it was brilliant to see smiles on so many faces. Thank you to all those people that took part, cheered the riders on and helped to make it all happen. A big thank you also to Simon Rutt and all his family and friends for taking on the challenge on a rickshaw in memory of Heidi. A moment we will never forget.”

To date, the fundraising total for Pedal for Pounds has reached just over £50,000 which will pay to run the Hospice for almost one week!

To sponsor Heidi’s rickshaw team click here.

View our event photo album on Facebook.

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