GREAT BRIT­TON

Fern & friends take on the Chilterns chal­lenge

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

TELE­VI­SION pre­sen­ter Fern Brit­ton joined 500 cy­clists of all ages and abil­i­ties in Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care’s sixth an­nual Chilterns Cy­cle Chal­lenge on Sun­day.

A keen cy­clist and longterm sup­porter of Ren­nie Grove, she un­der­took the 35-mile chal­lenge, tack­ling the hills of the Chilterns coun­try­side, to sup­port the nurs­ing ser­vices the char­ity pro­vides for pa­tients in Bucks and Herts with can­cer and other life­lim­it­ing ill­nesses.

Par­tic­i­pants could opt for a 10km, 35 mile or 75 mile route.

Fern has taken part three times pre­vi­ously.

She said: “I love the spirit of the par­tic­i­pants and I love the coun­try­side. The Chilterns are just beau­ti­ful.

“I’ve rid­den the 10k route pre­vi­ously as well and that’s fan­tas­tic too – per­fect for kids as it’s all on cy­cle paths. To­gether we’re rais­ing a great amount of money for the Ren­nie Grove nurses to care for pa­tients in their own homes.”

First back from the 35 mile route were Stephen Poul­ton and Justin Dent from Bucks. The friends were cy­cling and rais­ing funds for a mu­tual friend, di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour last year.

Mr Dent said: “We were so glad to take part and raise money for a wor­thy cause.”

Brothers Kevin and Dave Pa­trick also took on the 35 mile route.

Bea­consfi el d - b a s e d Dave’s en­try fee was a Valen­tine’s gift from his wife and in re­turn he bought her a half­marathon place.

At the start line, Kevin was hop­ing his cy­cle com­mute from As­ton Clin­ton to Che­sham would stand him in good stead for his first-ever 35-miler.

Six fam­ily mem­bers and friends came all the way from Bris­tol to take part to sup­port Ren­nie Grove af­ter the char­ity cared for Karen Har­borne, from Che­sham, last year.

Karen’s brother, Kevin Grainger, and his wife Ca­role were joined by Natalie Grainger, Ben Jones and John and Margery Carr, with the men tak­ing on the 75 mile route and the ladies the 35 mile op­tion.

Ca­role said: “What an amaz­ing day, we’ve had such a great time. We are all ab­so­lutely shat­tered but it’s for Karen to­day. We wanted to do some­thing to­gether in her mem­ory and we hope she would be proud of us.

“Ren­nie Grove was won­der­ful in its care for Karen and she was able to stay at home right un­til the end. We’re de­lighted that we’ve been able to take part and raise more than £1,000 to help the char­ity con­tinue to care for other pa­tients and fam­i­lies. Thank you to ev­ery­one for mak­ing it such a mem­o­rable day.”

Ren­nie Grove’s di­rec­tor of fundrais­ing and mar­ket­ing Gil­lian Bar­nett said: “It’s been a fan­tas­tic day with sup­port from so many peo­ple. We’re ab­so­lutely de­lighted with the re­sponse from the lo­cal com­mu­nity. It’s been great hav­ing Fern with us once again and we’re re­ally hop­ing that we’ll be able to smash our tar­get of £40,000 for this event and fund thou­sands of hours of spe­cial­ist care.

“We’d like to thank ev­ery­one who took part. It was ob­vi­ous that par­tic­i­pants en­joyed the chal­lenge and ev­ery­one was so ap­pre­cia­tive of our lovely mar­shals, who stood for many hours to en­sure our cy­clists’ safety and to cheer them along the way. With­out th­ese fan­tas­tic vol­un­teers we wouldn’t be able to run the event and we’re so grate­ful to them for the time they gave up and to the many other peo­ple who’ve helped in so many ways. Thank you ev­ery­one – and we look for­ward to see­ing you again next year!”

The hospice’s next fundrais­ing event is its Muddy Mucker Chal­lenge on Sun­day April 10 in Chiswell Green.

Peo­ple have un­til Tues­day to sign-up.

Visit www.ren­niegrove. org/mud­dy­mucker for more in­for­ma­tion.

Chain gangs:

(From above) Fern Brit­ton with friends Caro­line Grange and Cath Pow­ell; the El­tek team; the Hicks fam­ily; and Les­lie

Hub­bard, Mark Light­foot and Ge­off

Hub­bard

Ready to ride: (Above) Richard Whit­tle; Team Karen in mem­ory of Karen Har­borne; Fern Brit­ton

and (below) brothers Kevin and Dave Pa­trick

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