Julie saddles up for epic Rowans fundraising event

ON HER BIKE Julie Applin is the first to sign up to The Rowans Hospice's Ruby Ride.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (122092-1)
ON HER BIKE Julie Applin is the first to sign up to The Rowans Hospice's Ruby Ride. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122092-1)

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WHEN Irene Buckland’s family knew it was almost time to say goodbye to her, they wanted the best surroundings.

Mrs Buckland, 73, was taken to The Rowans Hospice in February this year.

The pensioner had been diagnosed with dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Her daughter Julie Applin, of Church Close, Clanfield, said: ‘After my mum was diagnosed, gradually her health deteriorated and my dad was her carer.

‘In the last week of her life she stayed at The Rowans.

‘As soon as she was there all the stress was taken away from us and they took over.

‘We were told she was in the closing stages and we were glad she was in such a peaceful setting.

‘Staff were also there to answer medical questions.’

That’s why the 46-year-old housewife will be taking part in the hospice’s latest fundraiser, called the Ruby Ride, which was launched yesterday.

It is hoped to be an annual event in which people can take part in a sponsored cycle ride to raise money for the hospice in Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook.

There are four routes to choose from:

· Fun – a 3.5-mile route to the Mountbatten Centre.

· Leisure – an 18-mile route around Portsea Island.

· Challenge – about 30 miles, which includes Portsdown Hill.

· Epic – 60 mile route up to Petersfield and returning through the Meon Valley.

The event takes place on Sunday, September 30, starting at Lakeside, North Harbour in Portsmouth.

‘It’s the whole package of care – it’s not only the person that’s ill they support, but the family as well,’ added Julie.

‘When I heard about the Ruby Ride I thought I would do it to support such a brilliant cause. I’ll be going for the 60-mile route.’

The event is being supported by cycle company Wiggle.

It costs £15 for adults and £7.50 for children aged five to 16 years old.

Children under five get in free.

To register go to rowanshospice.co.uk