A Croydon woman helped raise more than £150,000 for the south London hospice where she works by cycling from Sydenham to Amsterdam.

On Wednesday 26 June, Helena Talbot-Rice, a rehabilitation and wellbeing consultant, joined 57 cyclists setting off from St Christopher’s Hospice in 42 degree heat against enduring head winds.

Four days and 350 miles later they crossed the canals of Amsterdam to enjoy a well deserved drink in the city centre, jointly raising £165,000 to fund the work of the hospice across south east London.

Ms Talbot-Rice was among six members of St Christopher’s staff who took part. “It was really fun but hard. 350 miles is a long way!

"The weather made it harder – on day two we were cycling into a strong headwind all the way for about 90 miles!"

“We heard some lovely stories from other riders along the way about why they were doing it and what a difference St Christopher’s had made for them.

"It was nice to reconnect with people whose family members or loved ones had benefitted from using our gym or having physical rehabilitation to help them get moving.

“We’ve done all this to raise funds for St Christopher’s. Like all hospices, we rely upon donations from the public to keep us going, and at St Christopher’s we need to raise over £16 million every year.

“Every year we support over 7500 people affected by death and dying in the London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Croydon and Bromley. Without public donations we could not do this.”

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Cyclists at the finish line in Amsterdam city centre

The riders travelled through France, Belgium and the Netherlands to reach their destination, covering a gruelling average of 90 miles each day.

Every cyclist had spent months preparing themselves for the journey and making sure they were fit enough to complete the challenge.

The St Christopher’s staff team encompassed some of the wide variety of skills and expertise needed at the hospice, including the medical director, director of quality and innovation, head of facilities, rehabilitation and wellbeing consultant lead, a trustee and an occupational therapist.

It’s not too late to donate funds to support St Christopher’s London to Amsterdam challenge – text HOSPICE to 70500 to donate £5.