Hampstead Norreys villagers in London to Paris cycle fundraiser
A team of cyclists from Hampstead Norreys took part in the London to Paris Bike Ride early in September, raising a huge sum for a hospice.
The five-strong group – consisting Janet Carruzzo, Theresa Fleetwood, Claire Trow-Smith, Sian Boston and Adrian Green – completed the ride between September 8 and September 11.
This followed two years of preparation, with lockdown restrictions delaying the event, originally set for a June 2020 start.
Most of the team were not experienced road bikers and the effort was strictly for charity, ultimately raising more than £11,000 for Oxford-based Helen & Douglas House.
This hospice provides dedicated care to life-limited children and young people and their families.
Setting off from the Hilton Hotel in Croydon with 28 other cyclists, the Hampstead Norreys team moved down to Dover, clocking in 88 miles on their first day alone.
Over the following two days, they clocked a further 78 miles, taking in the northern French countryside – including the Somme Valley, with its First World War graves and memorials.
Arriving in Paris on September 11, the Anglais celebrated by taking in the sights, including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees.
Mrs Carruzzo said: "It was the most amazing experience taking part in the London to Paris bike ride – from our regular twice a week training in and around the beautiful Berkshire countryside, through to the sense of achievement each day cycling long distances with a great group of people, and the excitement of cycling through Paris on the last day.
"We are also thrilled to have raised so much money for Helen & Douglas House.
"I work at this charity as a marketing manager so see first-hand the difference we make to local families' lives who have terminally-ill children.
"No parent should have to face the loss of a child but those who do, need Helen & Douglas House to help them through this difficult and tragic time.
"It has been a tough time for everyone during the pandemic, but many of our families have been isolated and have needed our help more than ever.
"Fundraisers like this mean we can be there for local families, so I am proud that we have raised so much money to make this possible."
Although the ride was completed in September, the team is still raising funds for Helen & Douglas House, and its JustGiving page remains open for donations.
To contribute, visit bit.ly/2Z6qHLy
Mrs Fleetwood said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated money to us and who came to our fundraising events at Andrea Skin Health Clinic and our two swishes.
"Our fundraising target was £8,000, so we are delighted to have smashed our target and raised over £11,000, with some more money to come in and Gift Aid on top."