MORE than 80 cyclists took part in a fundraising bike ride this weekend to support a prominent North-East charity.
After a week’s delay due to heavy rain, the weather was finally on the side of the 81 bikers, who cycled 26 miles on Sunday, October 13 to support Butterwick Hospice Care.
They left shortly after 10am from the Elm Tree Social Club, in Stockton, and followed a route which led through Stockton, Elton, Long Newton, Sadberge, Bishopton, and Redmarshall, finishing back at social club for a well-earned rest and buffet.
One of the riders was Derek Walker, who has taken part in the ride for the last few years in memory of his daughter, Claire Robson, who died in 2017.
He said: “Claire thought the hospice was just lovely while she was there. It’s a great charity, they provide wonderful care to everyone, no matter who you are.”
Brian Hutchinson, who has organised the bike ride for the last 16 years, said: “The Butterwick does such a fantastic job for everybody. They don’t just look after patients, but their families too.
“My sister Christine died seventeen years ago in the Butterwick, and at the time we thought we’d try to repay their kindness in some way by organising a bike ride. That was 16 years ago, and now it’s raised more than £100,000 since then – it feels fantastic.
“It’s really good that everyone’s turned up again this morning after we were postponed last week. It’s great.”
Also taking part was Butterwick volunteer driver Carole Weightman and her 13-year-old daughter Ellie, who were both taking part for the first time.
Carole said: “As a volunteer, I regularly see the fantastic work the Butterwick does, and I know that every little helps. That’s why Ellie and I are here to raise a little bit of money to support the charity.”
Hospice fundraiser Lyndsey Barnes said: “It’s just brilliant to see so many people come out once again to do this ride and support the Butterwick. We’re very grateful to everyone who’s taking part, to Elm Tree Social Club for having us back, and especially to Brian for all his work making this wonderful event happen.”
Brian and Lyndsey are already planning next year’s Big Butterwick Bike Ride, which will take place on 27 September 2020. Anyone interested in taking part can contact Lyndsey on 01642 628 930.