When it comes to using pedal power to clock up pounds for charity, a group of fitness-mad cyclists could tell you a thing or two!

The 22-strong group completed a 140km cycle, from Matfen Hall to Bamburgh and back again over two days in July – and have raised an incredible £4,010 for Tynedale Hospice at Home.

The group, the majority of whom are regulars at Matfen Hall’s Aqua Vitae Leisure Club’s spinning classes, were supported by Val Thornton and Angela Watson who stepped off their bikes to drive the support van carrying valuable supplies including food, drink and the all-important puncture repair kit.

Bob Bell, from Hexham, one of the organisers of the fundraising cycle, said: “We were blessed with incredible weather and rode through some of the most fabulous countryside Northumberland has to offer, including Simonside, the Cheviot Hills and passed by some gorgeous houses and castles like Chillingham, Bamburgh and Warkworth.

“Thanks to thorough preparation by everyone involved, we all completed both legs of the route although we had to cope with a wonderfully explosive puncture and three incidents of the same rider getting lost!

“To complete a super weekend the team at Aqua Vitae laid on a lovely welcome back reception and we were delighted to arrive home safe and sound having smashed our original fundraising target of £2,000.

“We are delighted with this amazing total and would like to thank everyone who sponsored us and supported us along the way.

“This is the third year in a row that we’ve supported Tynedale Hospice at Home through a charity cycle ride.

“We chose to support the Hospice again because it’s the chosen ‘Charity of the Year’ at Matfen Hall, but also, because some of the group, including myself, have experienced cancer and we know what a lifeline the hospice  is for many local people.”

All funds raised will support the work of Tynedale Hospice at Home which provides palliative nursing care to people in their own homes, pre and post bereavement support through Family Support Services and a Hospital Transport Service to people living in Tynedale, West Northumberland, Ponteland and the surrounding areas.

Cathy Bates, senior community fundraiser for Tynedale Hospice at Home, said “This is an incredible sum the group have raised. Their efforts are an inspiration and we can’t thank them enough for their amazing support.   We provide support to around 430 people a year who need our services and every penny raised will make a real difference to the lives of local people and their families.”

Bernard Bloodworth, Managing Director at Matfen Hall Hotel, said: “Everyone at Matfen Hall would like to congratulate the cycling team on this terrific achievement and the fantastic sum raised for Tynedale Hospice at Home – a wonderful charity we have been delighted to support for many years.

“We’re very proud that so many of the team are regulars at our Aqua Vitae club, and thought
everyone deserved a bit of a ‘well done’ celebration when they got back to Matfen. We look forward to hearing about their next fundraising challenge!”

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