Ahead of his “Cycle Across Switzerland 2019” challenge starting on 19th April 2019, Woodfines’ Marketing Manager, Nicola O’Loughlin, speaks to Crime and Regulatory Solicitor, Nathan Taylor-Allkins, about his upcoming adventure and fundraising for the Baby Bereavement Fund at Milton Keynes Hospital.
How did the cycle challenge come about?
“Two of my friends and I have wanted to do a big sporting challenge for a while. We’re all really sporty and we completed a charity 10km obstacle course challenge a couple of years ago and got the buzz. So last year, we sat down, had a few beers and the “Cycle Across Switzerland” idea was born. It wasn’t designed to be a charity event but it was too good an opportunity to miss and not to fundraise as well.”
What does the challenge involve?
“We leave at the crack of dawn on Good Friday to head to Geneva via the Eurotunnel. We will start cycling on Saturday 20th April and carry on for the next 8 days across Switzerland into Liechtenstein, across the tip of Austria, into Germany around Lake Constance, back into Switzerland and then into France. The route is going to be at least 880km long and the overall metres climbing will be over 7,000.”
How did you choose which charity to raise money for?
“I wanted to choose a charity close to my heart and to use as an added incentive to keep me pedalling when my legs are screaming for me to stop. I decided to raise money for the Baby Bereavement Fund of Milton Keynes Hospital Charity as my sister-in-law and her partner suffered the devastation of losing their daughter at the very final stages of their pregnancy last year.
“I saw first-hand the exceptional support offered from the doctors and nurses and the wonderful work done by the Charity. The Hospital has a specifically designed ‘Butterfly Suite’ which offers a private space for parents and is equipped with a double bed, sofa, fold-down chair bed, tea and coffee-making facilities, a TV and an en-suite washroom. The Charity is also able to provide amazing services such as providing free keepsakes (handprints, blankets etc.) to offer some consolation to parents. Although the Suite has been completed, further fundraising will mean that The Butterfly Suite can be maintained and the Charity can continue to offer the wonderful services it does for free.”
How is the fundraising going?
“I wanted to raise £880 for the 880km we will be riding. I am delighted to say that thanks to the amazing generosity of local businesses, colleagues, family and friends that the total has already exceeded £1,500. I am really grateful as the money will make such a difference and will allow the Charity to continue to offer the wonderful services it does for free and to help those going through some of the worst times in their lives.
“Across all of our office, the staff at Woodfines are always so supportive of charitable causes and the Milton Keynes office is holding a bake sale on 11 April 2019 with all the proceeds going towards the fundraising total. My wife has also very kindly prepared a fantastic Easter hamper which is also being raffled off and which has already raised over £200 in raffle tickets!
“I am hoping continue to increase awareness of the Baby Bereavement services offered by the Hospital Charity and will be speaking on MKFM on 3 April 2019 about my challenge. It is going to be tough, but worth it!”
To find out more about Nathan’s progress, and the cycle itself, please visit his JustGiving page.