Get on your bike for dementia funds

The Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride 2015 SUS-150416-125435001
The Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride 2015 SUS-150416-125435001

The Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride 2015, set for Sunday 31st May, is aiming to do more than raise awareness of dementia.

The organisers are hoping that, through the entrance fees, they can purchase a number of ‘riser’ chairs for local people living with the disease at both the Redwood Centre and the Princess Royal Hospital!

The Ride is sponsored once again by 1st Central, The Orchards Shopping Centre, Nuffield Hospital, Masters & Son and the Collinswood Group and, as Andy James from 1st Central, says: “We all know someone who is affected by dementia, and at 1st Central, our chosen charity is St Peter & St James Hospice, which cares for people with dementia, as well as many other life-limiting and terminal illnesses. We have a target of raising £40,000 this year, which will help them complete a wellbeing centre, so let’s hope thousands of riders sign up to help make our town a truly dementia-friendly place.”

But Chairman Mike Oliver is hoping that many more charities and organisations will benefit from this year’s Bike Ride: “Although we give the entrance fees to local people, we’re hoping lots of cyclists will ride for their own chosen charity; that’s why we have a special discount for charity teams and there’s a sponsorship form on our website to help them. But our own aim is to help our friends locally by providing them with ‘smart’ chairs which can really help - as it’s easy for many people to forget how to lean back or stand up.”

This will be the Ride’s fifth year and the organisers have taken on board all the good suggestions made by riders last year. As before, there will be four routes (from the Wiggins Way at 73.5 miles to the Sergison at 12 miles) with the two shorter routes heavily amended so that, especially for the ‘family’ Sergison Ride, the route doesn’t pose too many challenges. Feed Stations will not only have energy packs, but lots of good nibbles too for the hungry and tired cyclists and, most importantly, the bands of Oathall Community College will be in the Broadway to welcome them all home. And, once again, there’ll be Pre-Registration in The Orchards on the Saturday so you can have another half hour in bed on the Sunday!

And if you register now at www.hhbikeride.co.uk, you’ll get a special Early Bird Discount (valid until the beginning of May). So please join us to make our Bike Ride the very best and biggest ever this year and don’t forget that, even if you’re not a cyclist but would like to be part of the fun, do get in touch and help us to marshal or register. Call Ruth on 01444 453399 (ruth@i-dmc.co.uk)

Report and picture contributed by Ruth De Mierre.