A team of over 100 staff at a housing association have walked, cycled, run and even hopped 25,000 miles on a Round the World Challenge in aid of a hospice.
Now Cartrefi Conwy have handed over a cheque for the grand total of £4,137 to St David’s Hospice in Llandudno which provides respite and end-of-life care for patients from Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey.
Leading the way and making the presentation was keen cyclist Kim Ashby who covered over 1800 miles – the equivalent of riding from Cartrefi Conwy’s Abergele headquarters to Sofia, in Romania.
In a dramatic finale she pipped colleague Joe Palmer for the individual distance honours, going out for a late-night ride on the last day of the event which saw Cartrefi Conwy donate 20p for every mile of the Earth’s 24,900-mile circumference.
Keen cyclist Kim, 29, from Penmaenmawr, said: “I really started cycling last year and there was a good competition between Joe and me but I found out on the last night that he had overtaken me.
“So I went out at about half past 11 and rode up and down the street outside to make sure I beat him but it was all good fun and we all enjoyed it.”
Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden stuck to walking and managed an impressive 280 miles for the cause and he said: “It’s been an absolute joy to do this for such a fantastic local facility as St David’s Hospice and to raise this amount of money is tremendous.
“Just as important at this difficult time is the joy that taking part has brought to our colleagues and the benefit to their fitness and well-being – it’s been a win-win for both organisations.
“I’m exceedingly proud of our people for their efforts and the miles they’ve done and I really believe we’re the first housing association that’s walked the world.”
The Hospice, which has 16 inpatient beds (in Llandudno and Holyhead), two Day Therapy centres, a Hospice at Home service and a counselling service, has an annual running cost of over £5 million but has been facing a £1 million shortfall because of the pandemic closure of its charity shops and cancellation of fund-raising events.
Hospice Chief Executive Trystan Pritchard said: “Cartrefi Conwy are long-standing supporters of ours and they are always very innovative in the way they come up with different challenges and this was no exception.
“It proved a great idea and obviously became quite competitive as well in the race to do the most miles.
“ It has been a very tough time for us and we thought we’d struggle but the local community has been a great support and we’re grateful to Cartrefi Conwy for the way they have thrown themselves into this challenge.”
St David’s Hospice Conwy Area Fundraiser James Wilde thanked the Cartrefi Conwy team for tackling the Big Outdoor Challenge and said: “This was a really big target they set themselves especially when it’s hard to keep people together because of the pandemic.
“It’s a fantastic amount to have raised and also that they have had so much enjoyment out of it. We’re very grateful, it makes such a difference to the patients and their families.”
Cartrefi Conwy board member and tenant Bill Hunt said: “It made me really, really proud of my colleagues at Cartrefi for their response and I’m sure it’s been good for their mental health as well.
“It’s great to get out in the daytime and improve their own well-being and enhance friendship and collaboration and all for such a good cause.”