A bereaved father who has raised thousands of pounds on his bike for King George’s and Queen’s hospital, is encouraging everyone to ‘saddle up’.
Keen cyclist Stuart Walks, 42 years old, is asking the public to get on their bike and help raise money for the local hospital trust. Stuart is organising the first of what he hopes to become an annual event, called ‘Pedal4patients’, a fundraising bike ride between Brentwood and Queen’s hospital in Romford on Sunday 29th of April.
The event consists of two different routes, 45 miles or 65 miles, to allow more serious cyclists or newcomers to this event, to choose the challenge to suit them.
Stuart of Junction road, Romford, has already raised around £7,000 for the hospital charity in thanks for the support he and his wife Sarah received when their daughter Charlotte was stillborn at Queen’s hospital two years ago. He said: “We were looked after phenomenally well and everyone was so supportive. When something like this happens, the NHS really goes into overdrive and it makes you realise how important it is. After we were looked after so well on the bereavement suite, we thought all the staff were amazing and they could do with some extra support.”
They quickly raised £3,500 thanks to the support of family and friends and Stuart later raised an additional £3,500 when he took part in the Fred Whitton Challenge, a 120 mile bike ride through the Lake District, last May.
The family raised money to refurbish the Snowdrop Suite at Queen’s hospital and now Stuart, who runs his own marketing business development consultancy, is hoping to encourage lots more people to raise money for the hospital.
He added: “We already have lots of different people signed up so I’m really looking forward to it. We’d really love more people to join us, and its not too late to sign up now. Cycling is a great way to get fit and it’s not too high impact and these type of events are really good to meet people and make it more social”, finished Stuart.