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Chrissie Wakeley in cycle jersey and helmet
One child asked Chrissie: “Mrs Wakely, did you do it for all those poorly children, and did you make them all better like you do us?” 
"I swallowed the lump in my throat and had to answer the child’s question honestly"


Chrissie's JustGiving page

Forest School Leader Chrissie Wakely said she had a lump in her throat when one of her pupils asked if the children’s hospice she was raising money for would make the children better.

Chrissie had spent the weekend taking part in Ride for Precious Lives, a three-day, 225-mile cycle from Bristol to St Austell and was sharing memories of the weekend with her class at Launceston Primary School the following week.

The children had been busy filling Smarties tubes with 20ps to support Mrs Wakeley’s fundraising, and Chrissie was keen to help them understand how their generosity would make a difference.

As she showed them photos of the weekend and spoke about the work of the hospice, one child asked Chrissie: “Mrs Wakely, did you do it for all those poorly children, and did you make them all better like you do us?” 

I swallowed the lump in my throat and had to answer the child’s question honestly

said Chrissie.  

“I explained that sometimes not all children in the hospice get better and they need lots of lovely people to help look after them and their families.”  

Chrissie explained that the money they had collected in their Smarties tubes by doing chores at home would help the nurses do lots of fun things for the children and their families, and would also help buy their medication. 

The children had raised £102.90 in their Smarties tubes, a fantastic start to the £14,000 fundraising target needing to be reached by Chrissie and her 13-strong Birds on Bikes team mates. 

Birds on Bikes 2021 teamIt was the second time Chrissie had taken on Ride for Precious Lives; she and three friends took part in 2021 and raised £8,000 and their stories and photos of the weekend spurred on more friends to join them in 2022.

“Last year’s ride showed me how the money we raised goes to such a great cause and I met some really lovely people who were so supportive along the way; this made me really want to do it again and sign up for this year” said Chrissie.

The Birds on Bikes team got their heads together in September 2021 to think about how they were going to meet their fundraising target. They soon came up with a seven-month plan that covered all types of fundraising events; Christmas markets, a Samba band evening, quiz nights, Smarties tube challenge, coffee morning, Easter egg hunt, bingo night, band night, open garden, Parish Plod and a Grand Draw live on Facebook. 

Their fundraising events secured generous donations from dedicated friends and family as well as people from their local communities new to hearing about their challenge, and some new to supporting Children’s Hospice South West. 

I was so much more nervous this year, I was really doubting myself as to whether I could do it again, but once I arrived at Charlton Farm on the Thursday evening and got registered I knew exactly why I was there and I was ready to take on the challenge ahead.

Chrissie with Birds on Bikes team membersRide for Precious Lives 2022 took place 8 – 10 July, one of the hottest weekends of the summer, and saw 100 riders complete the 225-mile cycle from Charlton Farm children’s hospice in Wraxall to Little Harbour children’s hospice in St Austell, raising more than £160,000.

“The whole weekend was truly fantastic,” said Chrissie. 

“All the people taking part were amazing, the organisation was 100 per cent and the support for each other was, as always, mind blowing!  

“It was extremely hot and very tough at times, making it emotionally and physically draining, but the support of the CHSW team and all the volunteers at the feed stops and lunch stops really helped to keep me and everyone going.  

“I personally had to dig deep on those last 10 miles and found these the hardest of the whole 3 days, knowing the end was nearly here.  

“But once we turned into Little Harbour, you could feel the amazing atmosphere that was waiting for us; from our fellow riders, the CHSW team, our friends and family who came to see us over the finish line.  

What an emotional finish to what was the best weekend ever!

Drawing for Chrissie WakeleyThe Birds on Bikes team raised over £20,000 for Children’s Hospice South West following their participation in the event.

After talking to her class the following week the children all went off to play, except one little boy who was sat busy drawing at his desk.

“He kept telling me I must not look, and eventually he put his piece of paper in an envelope, drew a big heart on it and handed it to me,” said Chrissie. 

“He said ‘I’m so proud of you Mrs Wakely. You did a good thing for those families, so I drew you on your bike; it’s purple as that’s your favourite colour, and you ride up a mountain in the sunshine’.

“He then gave me the biggest hug!”


Chrissie's JustGiving page