Over £6,000 raised for hospice by Suffolk County Council Chairman and local community

More than £6,000 has been raised for St Elizabeth Hospice, following the success of the Chairman of Suffolk County Council’s Winter Cycling Mission.

Throughout February and March, Councillor Graham Newman was joined by more than 60 cyclists in completing a 272 km virtual bike ride in aid of the hospice, which is his chosen charity for 2021.

The distance was the equivalent of cycling the combined distance of Ipswich to Felixstowe and to all St Elizabeth Hospice premises and shops across Suffolk, in locations such as Beccles, Southwold, Stowmarket and Ipswich.

Councilor Graham Newman, Chairman of Suffolk County Council said: “I am absolutely delighted with the final total raised by the Suffolk County Council Chairman’s Winter Cycling Mission, and to be able to present a cheque to St Elizabeth Hospice in excess of £6,000.

“It is particularly heartening that this kind of result would be a great achievement over a full 12-month term of being Chairman – but the Mission managed to do this within my 7-month tenure of the role. Firstly I’d like to thank all 68 riders for participating in the Mission, and for all those who sponsored me personally to the tune of nearly £800.

“Secondly I must thank the fund raising team at St Elizabeth’s Hospice for their enthusiastic support of this initiative, and also Colin Grogan from Suffolk County Council’s Keep Moving Suffolk team, who turned my original idea of a sponsored cycle ride to support the hospice into a virtual event, in which any number of people could participate without breaking the Covid-19 rules on movement.”

Riders of all ages and abilities took part in the mission using a static bike, electric bike or by getting outdoors for a ride before uploading their activities to the mission platform and tracking their distances along the route.

All funds raised have been donated to the independent Suffolk charity, St Elizabeth Hospice, which provides free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness throughout east Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Last year, St Elizabeth Hospice cared for more than 3,000 Suffolk patients and their families at a cost of £12.9m, of which 70% was raised by the community through its retail shops and fundraising activities.

Rebecca Jedrzejewski, Events and Challenges Fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, added: “Thank you so much to Graham and everyone involved in organising and completing the Chairman of Suffolk County Council’s Winter Cycling Mission.

“Together they have raised a brilliant sum for the hospice which will make a difference to the lives of many patients and their families in the local community who receive our vital care, during difficult times in their lives.

“For supporters who are keen to take on another endurance challenge, the hospice team are also hosting our Steps of a Nurse challenge until the end of June, so do look on our website for further information.”

Taking place between 1st May and 30th June, Steps of a Nurse sees the hospice challenge supporters to match the 190 mile distance its nurses walk every month through the virtual mission.

Open to all ages and abilities, Steps of a Nurse allows participants to upload their walks, no matter what distance, to the mission platform as they work towards their end goal.

For more information about Steps of a Nurse visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/event/steps-of-a-nurse/ or to register visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/steps-of-a-nurse-tickets-142848099511 or email fundraising@stelizabethhospice.org.uk.

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