More than 270 cyclists took to their bikes to raise vital funds for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s ‘Ride the Reservoir’ challenge.

On Sunday 20th March, cyclists of all abilities took part in the Hospice fundraising challenge winding their way around the West Midlands and Worcestershire lanes.

Starting at the King Edward VI Five Ways School in Birmingham, participants could opt for a 60km or 14km route both passing the reservoir.

Opting for the 60km route dubbed the ‘Tour De Bartley Green’ were the Aldridge family including brothers Jeff and Chris. They were cycling and raising funds in honour of their mother Joan Aldridge who was cared for at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice back in 2006.

Jeff Aldridge said: “This is the first time we’ve taken part in the cycle challenge. Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice looked after my mother in her final weeks and we felt they did a really good job.”

Brother Chris added: “The people that looked after her are amazing. We’ve raised nearly £700 so far for the Hospice and we hope it makes somebody’s life a little bit easier and better. This is our way of giving something back.”

The Hospice is on course to raise £15,000 through sponsorship money from the cycle sportive. Last year’s ‘Ride the Reservoir’ event attracted more than 200 participants and raised over £10,000 to deliver much-needed Hospice care. It costs around £8million each year to run the Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice which provides free care and support for terminally ill patients and their families across Birmingham and Sandwell. Just £761 pays for a day’s palliative care from our doctors and nurses in the in-patient unit.

Hamish Shilliday, Head of Fundraising at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice said: “Following the great feedback we had from the first ‘Ride the Reservoir’ event, it was lovely to see so many enthusiastic cyclists return to support the sportive as well as new cyclists- whether they had a personal link to the Hospice or not. It’s a fantastic response from the public who turned out on their bikes to support a good cause. A big thank you to everyone who supported the event, especially our partners who helped us deliver a fab day of fundraising.”

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s next fundraising event is the ‘Chocolate 5k’, a charity fun run on Saturday 23 April. For more information on all their latest events, visit http://www.birminghamhospice.org.uk or call 0121 472 1191.

Photo Caption: Jeff, Matthew, Sarah and Chris Aldridge cycled in memory of Joan Aldridge who was cared for at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice.