Hundreds of cyclists enjoyed the spring sunshine on Sunday 5th May as they took part in the tenth Pedal for The J’s charity cycle ride.
This popular event is sponsored by Beaulieu in Chelmsford and is an important fundraiser for The J’s Hospice which supports young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families across Essex.
Admirals Park in Chelmsford was a sea of bicycles, cycling helmets and lycra as over 900 keen cyclists had signed up to cycle 15, 35 or 50 miles through the beautiful Essex countryside.
The shortest route took them through Great Waltham, Pleshey and Chignall St James; the 35-mile route went out to Great Canfield, Hatfield Broad Oak and Roxwell while the most enthusiastic cyclists rode to Threshers Bush and Little Laver.
The first cyclists to finish were three generations of the Hill family – Stuart and Janet, their son Gavin and grandsons Rafferty (aged 5) and Otis (aged 3) – who were cycling the 15-mile route.
They are enthusiastic supporters of The J’s Hospice as they used to live next door to the charity’s founder, Denise Whiffin, and her son, Jonathan, in whose memory The J’s was set up and who it is named after.
Stuart said: “It was our first Pedal for The J’s. I got a bike for my birthday, so we all decided to cycle it together. It’s a great family event and the route was lovely and signposted well and we will do it again. We’re happy to support The J’s Hospice as we know first-hand what a great charity it is.”
Since it started in 2010, Pedal for The J’s had raised a total of £230,000 for The J’s Hospice which has paid for a range of services including tailored nursing and emotional care, advice and social activities.
This care is provided in the comfort of the patients’ own homes and in the community to help them live their lives to the full, however short.
This year, organisers at The J’s were hoping to raise another £20,000 to reach their tenth anniversary target of £250,000 and are delighted that the event is on track to have raised over £30,000.
Lucy Burgess, Events Fundraiser for The J’s Hospice, explained: “When we organised the first Pedal for The J’s cycle ride, we didn’t expect that it would become such a popular event with Essex cyclists and it is great to see so many familiar faces returning to support us again this year.
“The J’s Hospice must raise over £19,000 each week to be there for every young adult who needs us, so we are very grateful to have reached £260,000 over the last ten years.
“Thank you to all the cyclists, the generous people who sponsor them, our volunteers who help make the ride so successful and to our brilliant sponsor Beaulieu for your fantastic support.
“You have made a massive difference to the families across Essex who really rely on our care.”
It was the fifth time that Beaulieu, the exciting new development underway on the outskirts of Chelmsford by Countryside and L&Q has sponsored Pedal for The J’s and the company also enters an impressive team of cyclists every year.
Andrew Carrington, Managing Director of Strategic Land at Countryside, said: “For the fifth year in a row, it’s been an honour to sponsor Pedal for The J’s and support the vital work that The J’s Hospice does across Essex.
“It’s quite amazing to see how, since this event launched 10 years ago, the charity has now raised over £250,000.
“This important milestone is a testament to the hard work that the organisation has done to help countless young adults with life-limiting conditions.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to the cyclists, donors and local community who, once again, have raised the bar in showing their commitment to the cause.
“At Beaulieu, we look forward to continuing our support towards Pedal for The J’s and we’re excited to see what new heights are reached next year.”
The J’s Hospice is part of Havens Hospices, which also includes Little Havens Hospice and Fair Havens Hospice.
If you’ve been inspired and would like to help The J’s and Havens Hospices continue ‘Making every day count’ by taking part in an event or challenge this year, please visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/events