Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice
Leckhampton Court Hospice
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85 year old grandfather gears up to take on charity cycle ride
Venue: Dean Close School, Cheltenham
An 85 year old grandfather from Gloucester is in training to take on a charity cycle ride through the Cotswolds for what could be his final time in memory of his wife, and raise vital funds for the hospice which cared for her with the support of his stepdaughter, who is a Sue Ryder Nurse.
It will be the fifth time Norman has stepped into the saddle to complete Allstone Speedy Skips-sponsored Ride for Ryder for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.
This year, however, could be Norman’s final ride. “I have been one of the oldest people to complete Ride for Ryder in previous years, and the hills are not getting any easier and I am not getting any younger!” shares Norman. “That’s why this year could well be my last year stepping into my cycling shoes in support of the hospice. It all depends how I feel next year really.”
Norman has a ‘tandem’ reason for taking the 40km cycle ride – not only did Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice help care for his much loved wife, Evelyn, but his step daughter, Kila, works as a Sue Ryder Nurse in the hospice at home team too.
Norman added, "All the staff and nurses at the hospice are angels and their care is amazing," says Norman. "The care they gave us was brilliant and I just wanted to do something to give something back.
“When my wife passed away the care she was given in her final month at home was amazing. Towards the end she could barely smile but when the Sue Ryder Nurses came in we could hear her laughing and she rallied. It was so lovely.”
“I can remember how proud Evelyn and I both were when Kila told us she had got a job in the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice at Home team. Evelyn thought it was wonderful Kila was working for Sue Ryder”.
"I am so proud of Kila and what she does at the hospice," he continues. "She is such a caring person and she has helped me out so much since we lost her mum. We have lots of laughs together and do lots of things together too.
"Kila thinks I'm mad taking on this challenge once again, but I’m doing it for her, and in memory of Evelyn too.”
A keen cyclist herself, Kila will be there supporting Norman in his final Ride for Ryder by cycling alongside him.
Norman said, “I am so proud to be cycling out with Kila and it means so much to me to know that she will be with me every turn of the pedal on my last ride.”
Kila is proud of the amazing achievements of Norman. She said, “Norman is an inspiration and an absolute legend. He’s showing everyone that as you get older you can still get out there and do amazing things in support of others.
“Norman has been my dad for 30 years and if anything since mum died our relationship has grown stronger. I think mum would be pleased to see how much Norman is here for me and I am here for him. We’re here for each other.”
In honour of Norman’s incredible support he has given to the hospice, which has seen him raise over £1350 through his charity cycling efforts, the hospice is awarding Norman with rider number ‘85’ - his age at the event.
Matt Reay, Senior Community Fundraiser for Events at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice said, “We’ve loved welcoming Norman to Ride for Ryder over the past four years. He has become such a familiar face to everyone involved with the event. We’re in awe of him having cycled almost 160km over the past four years in his eighties. That really takes some doing!
“Norman is a big part of our Sue Ryder family, not only riding out with us at Ride for Ryder but volunteering at our hospice events too. For a number of years now Norman has stood out under the stars in all weathers late in the night giving a friendly welcome to Starlight Hike walkers as they enter the hospice grounds at the half way point.
“We wish Norman and Kila all the very best at this year’s ride. We can’t wait to see them cross that finish line together.”
Norman hopes his inspirational story will encourage cyclists of any ability to take part in Ride for Ryder.
"If I can do it at my age, anyone can, so if you are thinking of signing up I urge you to get on your bike and come join me!" he says. "You’ll get great satisfaction out of achieving something and knowing you have helped a worthwhile cause too."
Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice’s Ride for Ryder takes place this Sunday 8th August and offers cyclists at every level of ability the opportunity to challenge themselves.
Starting and finishing from top-class sporting facilities at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, the 33rd Ride for Ryder has options for a 40km, 90km or 130km ride.
The event is perfect for beginners, intermediate and experienced cyclists, showcasing routes through some of the Cotswolds' most glorious countryside.
To donate to Norman’s Ride for Ryder challenge visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Norman-Scantlebury4
There is still the opportunity to join Norman at this year’s Ride for Ryder 2021, sponsored by Allstone Speedy Skips, by completing an on the day entry.
To register on the day of the ride please arrive at Dean Close School Cheltenham this Sunday 8th August at 7:45am to enter the 130km, 9.00am to enter the 90km and 10.00am to enter the 40km ride.
Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice
Gloucestershire's only residential hospice.
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