700 riders join hospice Tour de Bristol

April 28 2017

CYCLISTS have raised £75k for St Peter’s Hospice in the annual Tour de Bristol.

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CYCLISTS have raised £75k for St Peter’s Hospice in the annual Tour de Bristol.

More than 700 participants took on a 35, 50 or 100-kilometre route through north Somerset on April 8, enjoying one of the sunniest days of the year so far.

Johnny Flanagan, head of supporter relations for the hospice, said the annual event helped keep Bristol’s only adult hospice running.

He said: “It costs £19,000 a day to run the hospice so fundraising events are what keep us going and able to provide all our care for free.

“We had more cyclists this year and added the option of a 100k route for the first time. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we raised around £75,000 for the hospice, compared to £60k last year.

“We’re already looking at routes for next year’s Tour de Bristol.”

Cyclist Toby Cummins, 37, completed the 100k route with six friends and raised nearly £15,000.

He said: “We rode in memory of my best friend’s wife, Tam Huggett Haines, who was cared for at St Peter’s Hospice for five days in January.

“She was suffering from cancer and was a mum to two little girls, so it was a huge shock. She had only just turned 40. It really brings it home when someone from your friendship group dies. I have three small kids myself and can’t imagine what it would be like for them if something happened to me.

“I was lucky enough to be able to visit Tam at the hospice when we knew she didn’t have long left, and I saw the amazing care the doctors and nurses were providing for her.

“While I was there I saw the leaflet for the Tour de Bristol and picked one up, then other people who knew her decided to ride too.

“I cycle regularly, but some of our friends hadn’t been on a bike for years so found it a challenge. The route was lovely, with lots of beautiful views.

“I think Tam would have found it fitting that we raised enough to cover the cost of her stay at the hospice and to ‘pay it forward’ by funding the care of some other patients.

Toby became best friends with Tam’s husband, Dan, while at school in Bath, and has watched Tam’s daughters Lois, five, and Bay, three, grow up.

St Peter’s Hospice cares for more than 2,000 people each year and only receives 25 per cent funding, so relies on fundraisers to provide £7 million annually.

Forthcoming events include the Bubble Rush on September 16, which will see adults and children walk or run a 5k course through a sea of coloured foam.

Another landmark annual event, the Midnight Walk, takes place on July 8 when fancy-dress clad revellers will take to the streets of Bristol to see the city’s landmarks by night. This year’s event has an 80s theme.

The Summer Party Season invites supporters to hold an event in June, July or August with the aim of raising a total of £35,000 to fund a St Peter's community nurse specialist for a year.