2 work colleagues are planning to ride their mountain bikes for 24 hours to complete a 328km (204 miles) circuit starting this Saturday 2 October at 9am on a journey taking in The Christie in Withington, the new Christie cancer centre in Macclesfield, Seddon HQ in Bolton, 11 Belong Care Villages and the offices of various consultants involved in the construction of the new Belong Village in Chester where the 2 are currently based.
Project manager, Chris Ellison, and electrical supervisor, Jonathan Strange, work together at Seddon, a long-time supporter of the Christie, and the company currently building the Belong Village in Chester. Belong is a not-for-profit organisation that has several villages across the North of England, specialising in caring for elderly and for people with dementia. The workmates decided to involve their work in the challenge they set themselves and created a cycle route that takes in all the Belong villages in the region, together with The Christie sites and the Seddon head office.
The colleagues are planning on taking a selfie at each of the 18 places they visit and will be totally unsupported on their ride, other than support from each other. They can be tracked on a live logger that will update every 10 minutes.
They were inspired to undertake their fundraising challenge by a colleague and friend whose partner lost her life to breast cancer in August, leaving behind her partner and young son. The workmates decided to do something practical to raise funds for The Christie whilst raising awareness of breast cancer. Their employer, Seddon, has been a long-term supporter of The Christie which has cared for several of its employees touched by cancer over the years.
Chris Ellison, project manager and Jon Strange, electrician at Seddon said: “We’ve been through the journey with Paul, our friend and teammate when his partner Rachael was diagnosed with breast cancer. Whilst Paul, Rachael and the family received fantastic care and support from The Christie, Rachael sadly lost her battle and passed away last month. We were just so thankful of how Paul and Rachael were looked after by Christie and Seddon that we wanted to give something back.
“We decided to do something to raise money, to remember all the people we know who have been through similar journeys and to raise awareness during October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As part of the site team for Seddon, currently building a new Belong Care Village in Chester, we have chosen to ride our bikes linking up all the care villages of Belong.org.uk and the consultants involved at our Chester site, totalling 338km (204miles) in 24 hours. It will be a difficult ride but we will try our hardest, to do our best, for this fantastic cause.”
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.