Following the popularity of a local charity’s cycle challenge last year, the event is returning in 2018 with more opportunities for people to get involved.
RideFest, organised by St Elizabeth Hospice, last year saw business across Suffolk compete in a static bike challenge in their own offices, raising thousands of pounds for the charity to help people living with a terminal illness and their families.
This year, the event returns and businesses will still be able to compete against one another to claim the RideFest yellow jersey but there are also two further individual challenges added to the programme: an individual challenge which can be completed whenever and whenever convenient as well as a 25 or 50 mile road ride around Suffolk in March.
Felicity Rook, head of fundraising at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We were overwhelmed by the support we received from businesses across Suffolk last year and, from the feedback we’ve had, everyone had a great time.
“This year, not only can you compete with your colleagues against other businesses around the county but there’s the opportunity to take part in a 25 or 50 miles cycle challenge in March on Suffolk’s roads or to complete your own individual challenge at home, in the gym or out in the elements in your own time throughout February and March.
“Support like this is essential to the running of the hospice. While you’ll have a lot of fun, the money raised will enable us to continue to provide vital services to the local community. Anyone raising around £25 will know they could help cover the cost of a nurse to look after a patient for one hour or around £45 could provide a therapy session for someone who has lost a loved one.”
Current RideFest yellow jersey holders and 2018 sponsors
Shaun Collins (left) and Richard Collins from Beagle Property
pictured at their offices on Cauldwell Hall Road.
Beagle Property estate agents, based in Cauldwell Hall Road Ipswich, were crowned RideFest champions last year and will return in 2018 to defend their title. Shaun Collins, Director at Beagle Property, said: “We’re big supporters of the hospice and want to be able to raise as much money as we can so they can continue to help members of the community we serve.
“The team at Beagle Property had so much fun taking part last year that, not only will we be back to defend our title, but we’ll also be sponsoring the event this year too; encouraging others to get on their bikes and support a charity that really does make a difference to local people.”
As with last year, teams from local business are encouraged to compete against each other in order to claim the coveted RideFest yellow jersey.
The corporate team challenge will take place in organisations across the county from Monday 12 to Friday 23 February. Those who cycle the furthest distances and raise the most money will compete one last time to be crowned champions at the RideFest grand final on Thursday 1 March at Trinity Park.
To take part, businesses are asked to pay a £99 registration fee to cover the cost of the event and also raise a further £350 for St Elizabeth Hospice which could help pay for up to eight therapy sessions for someone who has lost someone close to them.
For the first time, local people will be able to take part in RideFest in their own time and can set a personal target of miles they would like to complete throughout February and March. This can be done at home or in the gym on a static bike or out on the roads. Supporters will be asked to collect sponsorship for taking part. Whichever way the miles are clocked up is entirely up to the individual but the distance completed must be recorded.
There is no cost to the individual to take part but each participant is asked to raise £25 which could be used to pay for one hour of nursing care for a patient at the hospice or in their own home.
New for the hospice’s 2018 events programme is the RideFest sportive challenge. The outdoor cycle ride will include a 25 mile and a 50 mile route around Suffolk’s roads on Sunday 18 March and is an ideal warm up event for more seasoned cyclists to get back in the saddle after the winter break. Participants can also choose to collect sponsorship for taking part if they wish. £108 raised could help provide four music therapy sessions for patients, relatives and the bereaved which aids relaxation, comfort and emotional release.
Places for the sportive will cost £18 each for the first 100 people to sign up and will then rise to £25 if purchased before the event. On the day registration will be available and entries will cost £28.