‘We had to push on’ - How couple rode 5,000 and beat lockdown for hospice appeal
- Credit: PBH
A Norfolk couple has gone the distance on two wheels to support a campaign to build a brand new hospice.
Julia Gooch and Lyndon Tunmore, both in their 50s and from Bergh Apton, have completed a mammoth cycle ride which took them around the coastline of England, Wales and Scotland.
The staggering 5,000 mile journey took them their starting point to Gorleston around the three nations and back - raising Priscilla Bacon Hospice close to £7,000 their efforts.
And it was a journey completed despite their best laid plans being scuppered on more than one occasion by lockdown restrictions, which first postponed their first attempt and then left them scrambling to finish in time for the second one.
Ms Gooch said: “We wanted to take on a big adventure. Our ideas were encouraged by our dear friends Graham Wilson and Lynn Took, a couple in their early 70s who had trekked, hiked sailed and cycled around parts of the world.
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“They shared stories with us and urges us to not to wait and do it now while you still can.”
After originally planning to leave in early May, the pair set off on Saturday, July 4, but faced a mad dash to the finish line to get home to Norfolk before the second lockdown kicked in.
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She added: “We were in Hull when the second lockdown was announced and had a simple choice; abandon the challenge and take the train home or double our daily distance to arrive home as close as possible to the new deadline.
“After 18 weeks and thousands of miles of cycling, we felt that we had to complete our trip in honour of our friends and the hundreds of people we had met on our travels who had donated to the cause.”
Hugo Stevenseon, head of fundraising for Priscilla Bacon Hospice, said: “Julia and Lyndon have shown an incredible commitment, fundraising to help us build the new 24-bed hospice for Norfolk and Waveney.
“They have also managed to raise almost £7,000, when the majority of our fundraising events were cancelled due to the pandemic.”
The appeal, backed by this newspaper, is aiming to raise more than £12m to fund a new hospice near to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/wewillride5000miles.