Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice
Leckhampton Court Hospice
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Husband and wife duo to cycle from Churchdown to Lands’ End in Grandma's memory
Mark Feltham and his wife Sarah Feltham are saddling up for their first ever mammoth cycling challenge to help raise vital funds for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, which cared for Mark’s grandmother in her final days.
Mark (38) and Sarah (36) from Churchdown in Gloucester, will set off from their house on Tuesday 9th August, with the aim of completing the 240 miles or more ride to Lands’ End by Thursday 11th August. They will be cycling in memory of Mark’s Grandmother, Ellen Feltham, who died at the time of the country’s first pandemic lockdown.
“When Covid hit my grandma became ill and went into Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. We couldn’t go and see her and so it was the staff at the hospice who were there with her when she died.
“We just wanted to give back what little we could, to say thank you and to help the hospice team to be there for others. It really is a fantastic place, in a beautiful setting - I was amazed at how well she was treated, and how well they have treated others that I am aware of,” said Mark.
As novice cyclists and to help keep their training on track, the pedaling power couple recently took part in the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice flagship cycling challenge, Ride for Ryder, completing the 90km route, but their Lands’ Ends end feat will be be the first time they have cycled long-distance over a number of days, whilst raising money for charity.
“I cycle to work occasionally, but my wife hadn’t ridden a bike for years, let alone a road bike until now – we are both complete novices when it comes to doing a challenge of this distance. Ride for Ryder was a great way to get in the saddle in preparation for our three-day event
“We are using an app to plan our journey and we’ve found some great cycle routes, away from the main roads. Using this app we found the Ledbury Loop in training, which takes us from our house in Churchdown to Eastnor Castle, up to Tewkesbury, and back home,” Mark added
Day one of the ride will take them around 110 miles from Churchdown to Tiverton, via The Mendips and then down through Cheddar Gorge before hitting the Quantock Hills. On the second day the pair will set off for a 70-mile cycle from Tiverton to Bodmin, with the last leg lasting around 60 miles from Bodmin to Lands’ End, where Mark and Sarah’s family will be waiting to greet them.
“On day one we go from pretty much zero to 1000ft in one climb. Going up The Mendips is going to be pretty painful, but coming back down through Cheddar Gorge is going to be ace. There is a viaduct just after Bodmin that looks amazing and Cornwall is such a beautiful place that we are looking forward to seeing when we get there.
“Sarah’s parents are going to be our support vehicle and they will have our two girls with them who are six and two, It will be a good experience for them,” Mark added.
The couple have raised more than £1000 already, and with match funding of £500 from Sarah’s employers, HSBC, they are hoping they can push the fundraising total to over £1500.
“Initially we thought we would raise £500, but we are comfortably over that already. I think my grandma would be pleased, but I think she would be a bit overwhelmed that we were doing it for her. She was very humble. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us so far,” Mark added.
To donate to Mark and Sarah’s fundraising total visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/markfeltham1
For more information on Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice visit www.sueryder.org/leckhampton
Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice
Gloucestershire's only residential hospice.
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