Caring team join castle to castle ride in aid of Blackpool charity

A Blackpool company that provides residential care for children is gearing up to go the extra 199 miles to support young carers.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 4:55 am

Sandcastle Care, based in Whitegate Drive, is providing a team of four riders to take part in a charity fund-raising castle to castle cycle challenge.

Mark Arrowsmith, Steve Lambert, Amber Steib and Dave Crow are to ride from Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast to Lancaster Castle in support of Blackpool Carers, which offers support to young people caring for poorly family members full time.

The staff at Sandcastle Care which has a series of homes to care for youngsters across the North West, Cumbria and Yorkshire wanted to support a local charity which also works to help children.

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Caroline Mathers, head of care and operations at Sandcastle Care, said they had a natural empathy with the charity and wanted to help after the lockdown year which had been tough for everyone.

She said: "We try do do a lot for our local community, we have worked with the food bank through Covid and it has been a hard year for charities with fundraising, so we thought this was a great idea to further support our local community.

"We are fully supporting the riders and will be meeting them along the way. We have started them off with a donation and are all getting involved in sponsorship and fundraising for the team.

"They are all very active and go to the gym, but it is quite a challenge. I think they are looking forward to it. We have all been in lockdown for a year, so I think they are all keen to get out in the country.

"None of us know who might be a carer outside of work and it was fascinating to hear from Terry Hodgkinson about just how many young carers there are out there in Blackpool. So it is great cause to support and we are proud of our team taking part."

Sandcastle has been going for more than 13 years, around six years ago Darren Yates bought it and since then it has grown from three homes to 52 registered for children with emotional behavioural needs.

Terry Hodkinson, head of business development and fundraising for Blackpool Carers, which has a respite centre in Newton Drive, said the charity had missed out on more than £130,000 due to fund-raising events being cancelled and so were very grateful for Sandcastle Care to support thier major fundraising event this year.

She said: "Lockdown has been doubly hard on our young carers, who have been unable to go out. They look upon school as 'time off ' and have also missed out on the respite time here at Beaverbrooks House."

The castle to castle ride follows on from the charity's successful tower to tower adventure which saw 25 people ride from Blackpool to Paris in 2019.

The 199 mile ride will take place from August 4 to August 7. Riders will start on the beach at spectacular Bamburgh Castle on the Northumbrian coast before heading to Alnwick Castle which featured in the Harry Potter films, then riding via Hexham, Hadrian's Wall to Lowther Castle before finishing at Lancaster Castle.

The riders will do around 70 miles a day with full support from Chapeau Events which will provide crew to service the bikes, daily lunches and water stops, overnight accommodation and a celebration meal at the end.

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