Nine intrepid cyclists saddled up for The Six Counties Bike Ride –a 400-mile challenge which aims to raise £10,000 for charity.
The cyclists and their four-strong support crew are celebrating after completing the epic task to boost funds for Trinity Hospice and a new Community Hub at Church Road Methodist Church in St Annes.
Led by Reverend Stephen Heath, who was in the support crew, all are members or friends of the Church Road Methodist Church.
The Six Counties Bike Ride set off from the church on July 12 and rode 400 miles via Carlisle, Durham, York and Leeds, returning to the Dalmeny Hotel on Sunday, July 15.
Rev Stephen Heath said: “We ran the café last year as a trial and it proved incredibly popular, so we decided to upgrade the buildings to create a bigger community hub and expand what we’re offering.
“The bike ride aims to raise more than £10,000 and we’ve been so pleased with the support we have received from many local businesses.
“We hope to have hit the £10,000 target but we won’t know until all of the sponsorship of the riders and church members has been collected.
“It was a fantastic ride by the team in pretty tough conditions.
“The temperature hit 27 degrees on Saturday, cooling to just 24 in the evening, on a day they had a 1,000ft climb, that was hard going, especially when you consider the oldest rider is 66.
“They did an amazing job and we’re so proud of the effort they’ve made to support these two charitable causes.
“With their donations we can get the Community Hub up and running sooner rather than later, bringing people together and providing those who need extra support with the help they need.
“We’re also supporting Trinity Hospice which is an organisation that touches everybody across the Fylde coast.”
Vincents Solicitors is among 15 businesses to donate a minimum of £250 and Lytham office head Chris Matthews officially started the challenge.
The Vincents team also welcomed home the riders alongside Fylde Mayor Coun Peter Collins, and helped with a final fundraising push along St Annes Prom last Sunday.
Chris Mathews, head of Vincents’ Lytham office, said: “Church Road Methodist Church and Trinity Hospice play an important role in our communities and deserve all our support.”
The Community Hub at the Church Road Methodist Church will make use of some currently underused space, and the buildings are to be renovated to create a café, community space and meeting rooms.
When complete, the Fylde foodbank will return to the church from its temporary premises, and the building will also house Wesley’s Community Café, providing healthy, affordable meals, cookery classes and companionship.
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/churchroadmethodistchurch
The Community Hub and Wesley’s Café will provide a meeting place for anyone from the local community, such as the playgroup and choir which already meet at the church, plus youth groups and senior clubs. The ambition is that it will also help to tackle a variety of issues including social isolation and food poverty, and help people access other services.
Chris Mathews, head of Vincents’ Lytham office said: “I’ve known Stephen for years and he is tireless in his ambition to help people. He’s told me about the genuine difference the cafe made to people during the trial, giving many something to look forward to and getting them out of the house, or helping them to learn to cook and feed their family on a budget. It’s such a compelling story that you can’t help but want to get involved and we will be looking at what else Vincents can do to support this innovative and exciting project in the future.
“We’re also delighted to be contributing towards fundraising for Trinity Hospice. Our business has offices across Lancashire and supports the local hospice in each local area. These organisations play an important role in our communities and deserve all our support.”
To join the Vincents team in welcoming back the riders, meet at The Dalmeny Hotel, South Promenade St Annes at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday July 15th. To sponsor the team go to www.justgiving.com/churchroadmethodistchurch
Businesses which have sponsorsed include: Apple Bikes, Barnetts at Inn on the Prom, Bushell & Benstead, Chartered Surveyors, Cooksons Transport, Dalmeny Resort Hotel, Fylde Coast Window Cleaners, G-Line Holidays, D Hollowells & Sons, Funeral Directors, Mark Rae Funeral Directors, Roland L Whitehead & Daughter Funeral Directors, Stephen Taylor Opticians, Stirk House Hotel, Tyson Construction, Vincents, Solicitors, Whitehead & Howarth Chartered Accountants.