When you’ve only cycled a total of 60 miles before, taking on Children’s Hospice South West’s epic 205-mile Ride for Precious Lives event could be a massive challenge, but nurse Jo Bingham is determined to give something back to the charity.
In 2016, Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) launched an initiative to encourage nurses to return to practice and retrain as a children’s palliative care nurse. Jo was selected for the programme and joined the care team at the charity’s Little Bridge House hospice near Barnstaple in January 2017 and completed her training at Plymouth University. She has now decided to take on the Ride for Precious Lives fundraising event to say thank you to CHSW for giving her this opportunity.
CHSW has given me the opportunity to return to a career which I am passionate about and so I wanted to give something back to them. I am hugely privileged to work in such a dedicated team that provides outstanding care to children and young people with life limiting conditions. Children who have uncertain futures and who are unlikely to live beyond their childhood. I work with children and young people who face daily struggles with even the simplest of tasks and rely on the help of others. Yet these spirited children and young people still find pleasure in the small things. They are a source of inspiration and my motivation for this challenge. It’s not going to be an easy ride, but a few days of discomfort is incomparable to the daily struggles faced by our families knowing that time with their child will be cut short and I am determined to give my absolute best.
Training for the event, which takes place on the weekend of 6-8 July, has started in earnest and Jo’s mantra is going to be ‘slow and steady wins the race’. She has even roped in her 16-year old son to help with her training sessions and is also hoping to cycle from her home in Exeter to Little Bridge House.
Ride for Precious Lives is a unique event whereby participants cycle to each of the charity’s three hospices. Starting at Little Harbour in Cornwall, the cyclists then visit Little Bridge House in Devon before completing the three-day event at Charlton Farm near Bristol. It’s a real team event with great camaraderie and riders include many parents and family members as well as supporters of the charity.
This year will mark ten years of the challenge which attracts cyclists from all over the south west. It’s a challenge to be proud of and CHSW is welcoming applications to join the 2018 event.
The ride is fully supported with a trained crew providing first aid and mechanical assistance across the whole event. Entry is £220, which includes a bespoke cycling jersey, accommodation for the Friday and Saturday evenings and all food on the days of cycling. Participants are asked to raise sponsorship of £1000 for the charity which provides medical and respite support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Jo will be joined on the ride by fellow CHSW care team member, Helen Rogers from our Charlton Farm hospice. For more information, see www.chsw.org.uk/ride and if you would like to support Jo in her fundraising, see https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JOBingham