Turning pedal power into pounds: Hospice calls on corporates for city cycling challenge Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is asking business professionals to swap their suits for cycle gear this June, so that they can get pedalling for vital hospice care. Working in collaboration with the West Midlands Combined Authority and as part of the Mayor’s Giving Day, the Selly Park-based charity is calling on corporates to take part in its ‘City Cycle Challenge’ – an exhilarating static bike event which will see teams from different businesses compete with one another. Taking place on Friday 28 June at Millennium Point, team members will have just 40 minutes to take it in turns and cycle as quickly and as far as they can – with the team that collectively completes the longest distance being named the winner. There can be up to five people per team, with a live leaderboard on display so that professionals can keep track on how they are doing against their closest business rivals. Already signed up to take part is a team of five from Birmingham’s John Lewis & Partners department store. Lisa Williams, the shop’s head of branch, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in the Mayor’s Giving Day by taking on Birmingham St Mary’s City Cycle Challenge. Supporting the communities in which we trade is second-nature to us and this event is a great way of showing our commitment to the local community. The team are determined to do their best and to raise as much as they can for this excellent charity, and we wish all competitors well on what should be a great day for the city.” Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is running the City Cycle Challenge event as part of the Mayor’s Giving Day – an initiative set up by Andy Street which aims to encourage businesses to give more to charities and think about the impact they can have on local communities. All of the vital sponsorship raised for the City Cycle Challenge will go towards the Hospice, which provides vital care to local people and their loved ones who are living with life-limiting illness. Lucy Watkins, head of fundraising at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “The Mayor’s Giving Day is a fantastic way to bring together businesses and charities from across the region. We know from our own corporate partnerships that working in collaboration with local businesses can have mutual benefits – not only can businesses help raise vital awareness and funds for the Hospice but we can also support an organisation to meet its CSR objectives. “That’s why we wanted to support the Mayor’s Giving Day by hosting our own event. The City Cycle Challenge will be a really fun way to encourage team building, networking and support for the Hospice, all whilst adding a hearty dose of competition into the mix.” This year, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is celebrating 40 years of care across Birmingham and Sandwell. When the Hospice first opened in 1979, it could care for 25 people on any given day. Four decades later and the Hospice is supporting over 400 people every day, providing care in people’s homes, in the community, at its Day Hospice facility and at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit. Birmingham St Mary’s is the largest hospice in Birmingham and it will cost £8 million to run its crucial services this year – over 60 per cent of which must come from generous voluntary funding. Corporate partnerships and events like the City Cycle Challenge, are vital in enabling it to continue to care for people when they need it most, wherever and whenever they need it. Compton Care – a hospice based in Wolverhampton – is also running a ‘City Cycle Challenge’ event in the Black Country, in collaboration with Birmingham St Mary’s. To find out more, or to sign up a team, please visit here.