89-year-old saddles up for charity

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AN 89-YEAR-OLD from Partridge Green saddled up in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice.

George Brown joined more than 350 people on Sunday for the Sussex Weald Bike Ride.

He finished the gruelling 44 mile course in just over four hours saying: “It was a tough at times but it’s a great feeling to finish.”

The ride, sponsored by Gatwick Airport, set out from Handcross Park School and offered participants a selection of on-road cycling routes through the picturesque Sussex countryside.

For Team Lewis from Crawley, the ride had added meaning. “There’s 30 of us here to today, family, friends and neighbours from Maidenbower, riding in memory of my father Gary Lewis,” said Naomi Moreno-Melgar, from Horsham.

“We cruelly lost our dad to a brain tumour in March this year. With the enormous help and support of St Catherine’s Hospice, we were able to bring our dad out of hospital. Through their immense knowledge and understanding they were able to give our dad the real attention and care he truly deserved.

“Always a giver, our dad had participated in the St Catherine’s bike ride himself, as well as annually taking part in the Dragon Boat race through his work at Thales. With this in mind we too wanted to give something back and continue dad’s support of the charity. The bike ride has given us the perfect opportunity to come together, and we hope to raise over £5,000.”

Event organiser Jen Wickham added: “We’re delighted that so many people came to join us at this year’s Sussex Weald Bike Ride. We received more entries than ever this year and the support we received is much appreciated by everyone at St Catherine’s Hospice. We hope to raise in the region of £20,000 this year, which will support our much needed care across the area.

“We’d like to thank our sponsors Gatwick Airport; Handcross Park School for allowing us to use their beautiful venue once again for the start and finish of the rides; and Great Walstead School in Lindfield; Rawson Hall in Bolney and Seaforth Hall in Warninglid for allowing us use of their facilities for much needed refreshment breaks for our riders. We also wouldn’t be able to hold this event without the support of Cycling Support Services, St John Ambulance, Sussex RAYNET and all of our volunteers who helped at the registration desk, at the water stops and along the course marshalling the route.”

For more information about upcoming events log onto www.stch.org.uk or call the fundraising team on 01293 447361.