Train drivers use pedal power for island challenge

Isle of Wight cycle team
Isle of Wight cycle team

Four train drivers swapped electric power for peddle power to cycle twice around the Isle of Wight, raising more than £3,000 for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger.

Dave Farrer, Mark Guage, Jeremy Rollinson and Sean Reedman, who all work for Thameslink and are based at the Bedford depot, planned a cycling trip around England’s largest island and decided it would be a good opportunity to fundraise.

Dave said: “My father-in-law was in Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice before he passed away a few years ago so I felt this would be a good chance to raise some money for the hospice.

“We had already booked to go away cycling for the two days and I suggested we use it as an opportunity to fundraise.”

The trip turned out not to be all fun in the sun as a first day downpour left the group saturated, but their efforts were rewarded the second day.

Dave added: “The challenge went really well. We completed two trips around the Isle of Wight in just over nine hours 10 minutes.

“On the first day we got soaked, but on the second day we were blessed with sunshine all day.

“The best bit was the feeling of crossing the finishing line on the second day knowing that we had completed our challenge.

“The worst bits were the weather on the first day. We had to grit our teeth and carry on despite being wet through.”

The cyclists had aimed to raise £500, but smashed their target with donations seeing them break the £3,000 barrier.

The amount raised could buy a specialist bed to ensure Sue Ryder St John’s patients have as much comfort and support as possible.

Sue Ryder St John’s head of fundraising Shirley Scotcher added: “I’d like to thank Dave, Mark, Jeremy and Sean for their cycling efforts in some tough weather conditions.

“Their support for Sue Ryder St John’s, and support like theirs, is vital in helping us to raise the £1.4million we need to fundraise in order to continue to provide incredible care this year.”

Visit www.sueryder.org/care-centres/hospices/st-johns-hospice for further information about Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and for ideas of how you can support them.