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28.04.2012

B2BW Blog: Day 1

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 Wednesdayite Chair Nigel is the first to send a blog from our B2BW charity bike ride!

 

 

 

Its 9am, and I've just boarded the Wednesdayite coach at M1 Junction 31 - Aston for the journey down to Brentford. 
The coach is buzzing with talk of automatic promotion, the play-offs, todays game and the possible outcomes and obviously, what will United do against Stevenage later on. 
Personally I'm sat contemplating the journey home!
Two years ago I completed the Coast to Coast bike ride with Wednesdayite to raise money for Sheffield Childrens Hospital. This year I allowed myself to be persuaded to cycle back from our last away game of the season to once again raise funds for a local charity!!
At the time the ride was decided on - no charity had been chosen. 
Ride organiser Peter Shaw wrote to Milan Mandaric - who duly replied suggesting The Bluebell Wood Childrens Hospice.

I knew a little about Bluebell Wood. They're reasonably local to me, based between Anston and Dinnington. I knew they were a hospice for children (not much gets past me!! and the name kind of gives it away!!) but have never really given it much thought beyond that. I've raised funds more regularly for Weston Park Cancer Charity in the past - having availed myself of their services in the recent past!

David Hirst was once again recruited to join us. Hirsty is a regular supporter of charities in the area and he said "YES" without hesitation. Once again he has undertaken a rigorous training regime to prepare himself for the ride "I blew my tyres up 2 weeks ago"...
Hirsty joined us at Bluebell Wood a week ago for some photos to promote the ride. We met Julie and Maddie - who work tirelessly to help generate the MASSIVE £3m a year it costs to run. All of the centres running costs are raised - there is zero funding from local or central Govt for any of the UKs 24 childrens hospices. 
Maddie explained a lot about the work they do. I could not do justice to what she said by even trying to summarise - so PLEASE visit the link provided and have a read. 
What she did say that resonated with me then - and continues to do so - was 'we provide end of life care for children and support for their friends and families'. Now taken as part of the series of sentences it involved its easy to lose the message it conveys so I hope you will humour me just this once - and read it slowly. 'They provide end-of-life care for children'
I had my strapping 16yr old lad with me at the meeting - and I looked over to him - and any doubts I had about completing the near 200 miles of this ride evaporated. I know the other riders feel exactly the same way. 
Since we started publicising the ride the response has been fantastic. Donations have already started coming in - we aimed to have over £1000 before we set off. We smashed that last week. 
Even United fans have been chipping in - a mate of mine has organised for 10 pubs around Bramall Lane to collect pre-match today too. We can't thank them enough for this - while hoping that Stevenage get at least 5 goalsagainst them on the telly later on. 
Our progress along the way can be checked online - rest assured we won't be setting off anywhere before we've seen Stevenages glorious march into the play-offs on TV in a local Brentford pub (while collecting obviously!) 
I'll be updating this blog regularly during the ride - I'm sure we're going to have a brilliant time - and I'm also pretty sure that with Hirsty along there'll be more than the odd pub stop along the way! If there's any newspaper stories over the next few days about a team of Wednesdayites cycling while drunk up the wrong side of the M1 hard shoulder - that will probably be us!

Thanks for reading - and even bigger thanks to all of you for donating!

Nigel Short

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Read 3465 times Last modified on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 11:12