PHL employees led by CEO Ross Brand are due to set off on a 200 mile ‘Tour de PHL’ today to raise £7,500 for the stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands.
The sponsored bike ride will take the cyclists from Whiteley through Portsmouth and across to the Isle of Wight, then via Ringwood to Basingstoke, and then from Southampton to their starting point in Whiteley.
PHL provides the NHS and private health care providers with services, and from June 24 to 26m the group of 14 riders will visit each of the PHL sites in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The charity is close to Ross’s heart as his son was stillborn.
Ross said: ‘February 27, 2018 was a day that was supposed to be special for my family, as it was the day we expected to welcome our son Jacob into the world.
‘Unfortunately, like so many before and since, our son was stillborn. 14 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK: that’s over 5000 a year. 60 per cent of stillbirths are unexplained, and too little is being done to understand why babies die.
‘Vital research and funding is desperately needed to understand why this happens and reduce those deaths.’
All the money raised will go to Sands, which throughout June is promoting The #AwaysThere campaign to ensure support is always there for every bereaved family.
Cycling team member Chris Brand, also Ross’s brother, said: ‘When my brother first told me they had lost their son, baby Jacob. I began a horrendous roller coaster journey of emotions, and a pain and a hurt which I had never felt before and which I never want to feel again.
‘I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for my brother and his wife or for all the parents who lose a baby. So when Ross told me about this bike ride, he didn’t have to ask.
‘SANDS spend half their time supporting parents who have lost babies and the other half trying to find causes to prevent as many losses as they can in the future.’
To make a donation, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/phlcharitycycletour