May 18, 2012 09:14 ET

HomeServe's 200Km Charity Cycle Challenge to Raise GBP 25k

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 18, 2012) - A team of 50 riders from HomeServe rode 200km from Preston to Walsall in 48 hours to raise £25,000 for the company's charity partner, Marie Curie Cancer Care.

HomeServe's largest and most challenging fundraising event to date took place between Thursday 17th and Friday 18th May. The money raised will go towards HomeServe's £1 million donation pledge during their three year partnership with the charity.

The team of cyclists was made up mostly of HomeServe employees of all ages, abilities and cycling experience from the firm's Walsall, Preston and Banbury sites.

Setting off at 10.30am on Thursday morning from HomeServe's Preston site, the cyclists rode 105km in a day as they travelled through picturesque villages of Lancashire and Cheshire.

After a well-deserved evening meal at Crewe, and a well-needed early night to recover, the team began day two of the challenge at 8am on Friday, riding 90km through the Staffordshire countryside before arriving at HomeServe's headquarters in Walsall, where they received a hero's welcome from colleagues, friends and family.

Jonathan King, HomeServe CEO, took part in the challenge. He said: "Marie Curie Cancer Care has been our charity partner since November 2009 but this is our biggest fundraising challenge yet - in more ways than one. Two days cycling 200km is a big ask but it says a lot about the great work of Marie Curie and our colleagues' determination to support them that we've seen so many people sign up."

Jonathan also presented the King of the Road trophy to John Danbury, from Preston, for raising the most money. John raised a fantastic £1,696.30 by organising a rock music festival and a football match through social media sites. John commented 'I am fortunate enough to have a great bunch of friends who have continued to support me during my fundraising for such a worthwhile charity'.

Other trophies were presented to the Best Motivator and for Best Effort, while there were three Wheelie Whacky Awards for 'Are We Nearly There Yet', 'Saddle Sore' and 'It Was Bound to Happen'. Sarah Palmer, National Charity Manager said 'Everyone has done really well and all received a medal for taking part and we awarded trophies for those people who really had gone the extra mile with some funny awards for those who found the distance particularly challenging'.

All riders needed to raise at least £500 to enter the challenge, with all the funds going towards Marie Curie's new West Midlands Hospice.

Arun Sharma, Head of Corporate Fundraising at Marie Curie Cancer Care, said: "Riding 200km in two days is an incredible achievement. We're delighted that so many people made such a sacrifice in order to show their support and raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The money raised will make a real difference. We are extremely grateful for HomeServe's ongoing support - and we hope they're not left too saddle sore!"

The company recently passed the halfway point, donating £600,000. This follows a busy programme of employee fundraising and business donations, and the sponsorship of Marie Curie's summer walking events, Walk Ten.

About HomeServe

Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.

With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.

HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home.

HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.

HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

About Marie Curie Cancer Care

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK's largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it provided care to more than 31,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its nine hospices last year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.


Around 70% of the charity's income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of our funds coming from the NHS.

Marie Curie Nurses

The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end of life care, totally free for patients in their own homes.

The right to die in place of choice

Research shows around 65% of people would like to die at home if they had a terminal illness, with a sizeable minority opting for hospice care. However, more than 50% of cancer deaths still occur in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die in their place of choice.

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