MORE than 150 cyclists braved the inclement weather to take part in the annual Rowans Ride to raise money for the much loved hospice.
Fund raising events officer, Debbie Pick, said: ‘Last year we raised £23,000 and this year we are hoping to reach £25,000. It costs £6.5 million a year to run Rowans and almost £1 million comes from fund raising events such as this. Without the generosity of people giving up their time and money it would have a serious impact on the services we can provide.’
For many participants, the event provided an opportunity to give something back for the end of life care Rowans provided for loved ones.
Ian Thomas, 47, said: ‘My mum was in Rowans last year when she had cancer. The support they gave to her and our family was invaluable. It’s such a caring environment and the staff are fantastic. This was an opportunity to do something to show my support.’
Robin Mo, 37, added: ‘My mother was also cared for by Rowans. They do such a fantastic job that I wanted to give something back.’
Participants paid a minimum of £15 to enter the ride and also pledged to raise £250 in sponsorship. The event consisted of three different routes ranging from 100km for serious cyclists to £25km for those who wanted a more leisurely ride.
Debbie added: ‘While there is a serious underlying purpose the shorter event also provides a fun healthy day out for families to enjoy together.’
Nick Dicken, 48, took part with his daughters, Cecilly, 10, and Marcia, 8.
‘This is the third year we have taken part in the event. It’s a great day out for a worthwhile cause,’ he said.
Cecilly added: ‘It super fun and it’s good to know we are helping people.’
Many participants were part of a group, including Portsmouth Sailing Club.
Club member, Liz Wiffin, said: ‘Rowans has supported many of my friends including former club member, Julian Dunicliffe. We all felt inspired to come along and raise money for a fantastic cause.’
The money raised will help towards the Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal to modernise facilities at the hospice.