Housing staff raise thousands through charity bike ride
Published by Kelly Elliott for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
From l-r: Charlie Bear for Cancer Care Co-ordinator Pauline Buglass pictured with Paul Moralee, Michael Wright, Helen Mullarkey and David Graham of Derwentside Homes.
A team of North East housing association staff have raised cash for local cancer charitable fund ‘Charlie Bear for Cancer Care’ by following in the footsteps of the region’s former Roman inhabitants.
The group of 14 Derwentside Homes employees took to their bikes to take on the 174-mile long Hadrian’s Cycleway route over three days, battling their way through torrential downpours and challenging terrain.
Their efforts were rewarded after they raised an impressive £2,000 for Charlie Bear for Cancer Care, which is based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and supports cancer patients and their families in the North East and Cumbria.
David Graham, Operations Manager at Derwentside Homes, who helped organise the challenge, said: “It was a tough route with some pretty impressive hills along the way and the weather wasn’t always on our side, but we all knew we were doing it for a fantastic cause and that kept us going.”
The team started their journey in Ravensglass in Cumbria, cycling into Northumberland on day two, following the route of Hadrian’s Wall all the way to Tynemouth on the North East coast, where they finished on day three.
This is the third major cycling challenge the Derwentside Homes team have taken on in recent years. In 2011 they tackled the 135-mile Coast to Coast route, from Whitehaven to Sunderland and last year completed the 208-mile Coast and Castles route from Edinburgh to Newcastle, raising more than £5,000 for the Willowburn Hospice and the homelessness charity Crisis in the process.
The team have been supported by Derwentside Homes, which actively promotes health and wellbeing initiative amongst its staff.
The Association is a member of the Better Health at Work scheme, which is organised by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and aims to encourage employers to improve the health of their workplace and employees.
Organisations taking part in the scheme work towards Better Health at Work Awards, with Derwentside Homes successfully achieving the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards and currently working towards the Continuing Excellence Award.
Derwentside Homes’ Chief Executive Geraldine Wilcox said: “It’s great to see that an initiative designed to improve the health and wellbeing of our employees has not only achieved that but also resulted in funds being raised for a very worthy cause.”