Twelve intrepid cyclists (and an invitee) made their weekend off from 29 June to 1 July a productive one, by taking on a 204-mile sponsored cycle ride in aid of the Specialist Baby Care Ward at Newcastle R.V.I. Hospital. The team are colleagues at Stannah Stairlifts in Newburn, where they make the curved rails for the world-leading Stannah stairlift. The invited one was Managing Director, Tim Eagles, who is based in Andover, Hampshire and was delighted to have the opportunity to join his staff team on the ride. The team, ranging in age from early 20s to late 40s, took on the Coast and Castle route from Edinburgh to Newcastle.
Steve Turner, who organised the annual team effort explains more:
‘We like to do something together outside of our work and this year we chose the Special Care Baby Unit because most of us are parents and we admire the amazing and vital work they do for thousands of families in the North East. It’s important to support your local hospital – you never know when you may need to rely on them.
We are very grateful to Stannah who are most supportive of their staff members who take part in personal challenges for charity. John Warren, our General Manager in Newburn provided us with a support vehicle (and drivers) whilst the Stannah Group provided our cycling shirts and sponsored us too. Thank you to all our colleagues, in the UK and some worldwide, for their support and a special thank you to our Joint Managing Director, Tim Eagles, who joined us from our head office in Hampshire to complete the ride. (We’re convinced he came straight from the Tour de France, such was his cycling prowess!)
Special thanks must be said to Bill and Heather at Clint Lodge in St Boswells who went above and beyond, by drying 13 pairs of soaking wet socks and trainers in their kitchen and then booked us a table at the local pub and transported us there. And they gave us one of the best breakfasts ever the next morning. Thanks to the patrons at the links Hotel in Seahouses who added to our sponsor fund as did some people enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon drink at the quayside bar Newcastle until 13 cyclists and most of their families turned up!
Last year we raised £1298 by cycling coast to coast for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation so this year our target is to exceed last year’s total. We certainly did that – raising, so far, a magnificent £1600 and counting.. We are most grateful to all our supporters and we’re looking forward to presenting a nice fat cheque to the Special Care Baby Unit.’
MD Tim Eagles comments:
‘Cycling is a great passion of mine, so when the Newburn team told me of their plans and invited me to join them I was absolutely delighted to take part. It was superbly organised and I consider myself lucky to have enjoyed a great weekend with a generous team. Cycling is a fantastic way to keep fit and raise money for good causes. I’m hoping my ability on a bike might have surprised the lads a little too!’
Unfortunately Mark Thompson, who completed last year’s bike ride had to drop out as he has recently given his mother a kidney. So the team put in a little extra effort for Mark and his Mum.
The youngest participant was Rob Thompson who has just completed his apprenticeship with Stannah and bought himself a bike just a few weeks ago. What a way to celebrate! After the first days cycling he was in bed, fully clothed, by 9.30pm! However youth was on his side and the second day saw him wake as a new man – despite getting knocked off his bike and suffering a buckled wheel he completed the ride with total enthusiasm.
His colleague Darren (the machine) Marshall trained hard by riding his bike 3.5miles into work for 3 days before the challenge and still managed to somehow complete the whole ride!
The route took the ‘lads’ (Steve Turner, Paul Knight, Pete Hughes, Mick Knox, Graeme Bennett, Darren Marshall, Dave Birrell, Rob Thompson, Jeff Cook and Tim Eagles, with support driver Mick Hunt, all from Stannah and friendsPete Craddock, Mick Lucas, Darren Robson) from Scotland’s beautiful capital and it’s stunning castle on a challenging but inspiring route through the Scottish Borders, along the Northumbrian coast with miles of dramatic cliff top views, abbeys, castles, watch towers and ancient settlements before arriving at Tynemouth.
There were plenty of climbs and descents to test the cyclists who averaged 68 miles a day to make sure they are back at work on time!
You can still support the team and the Special Baby Unit by donate by texting CJEK78£(amount) to 70070