Time running out to hop in the saddle for Norfolk charity

There is not long for people to get in training and get on their bikes to help keep hospices around the region running.

People only have until Friday to enter the EDP Ride for Life online, which is one of the biggest fundraising events for the East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

As the sunshine continues people are being urged to sign up and raise money to help children with life limiting illnesses.

The EDP Ride for Life sets off from Santon Downham in Thetford Forest on May 15. Although you can register on the day, volunteers prefer people to register in advance.

Melanie Chew, director of funding said: 'Ride for Life is important because it is our single biggest event in the calendar and it raises around �50,000 each year.

She said that she had been to the event every year since she joined the charity six years ago.

'People come together to support the charity but also to have a joyous day out. You get the families but you also get the competitive cyclists who do the road race as well.'

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She said the money for the event was particularly important because of the ongoing running of the charity.

Many people donate money to the charity wanting it to go to something specific, she said.

'What we struggle with is that you can have the best equipped hospice, but we need to pay the salaries of the nurses we employ. We need to have staff working and supporting the children in our care. This supports our ongoing work. It doesn't buy any new equipment.'

The hospice provides care in the family home or hospice as well as support for parents, siblings, grandparents.

Mark Loades, Norfolk partnership manager, said: 'We are helping local families. We get very little government funding and we need in the region of �4m a year to keep our hospices going. Without that there would be a lot of local families who would lose our support. Ride for life is a fantastic day. You have cyclists going off in one direction and arriving back in another as well as stalls and entertainment.'

annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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