Farleigh supporter completes London to Brighton cycle and raises over £4,100!
Wednesday 29th September
- Fundraising & Events
As other Farleigh supporters were taking part in our Cycle for Life on Sunday 19 September, Ashley Hill and his friends, Matt Taylor, Martin Atkinson and Nick Halle were completing the London to Brighton Cycle Ride.
The south’s iconic cycle ride, organised by Skyline Events, the route starts in London and passes through Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Banstead and Haywards Heath. It then moves onto Ditchling Beacon which is a mile long climb to the top of the South Downs, finishing at Madeira Drive on the Brighton seafront. Cycling a total of 62 miles, starting in Wimbledon, the friends raised over £2,655. Ashley’s employer, ABM Aviation, also organised a $2,000 donation, bringing the total raised to over £4,100.
Ashley and Matt took on the challenge to raise money for Farleigh in memory of his mother, Julie Hill, who sadly passed away in June 2019, after battling cancer. New to cycling, Ashley began training in January and achieved just five miles during his first training ride, finding it hard to climb the stairs in his house when he returned home. But, his dedication paid off, his stamina and endurance improved with every training session and he was able to achieve the 62 mile distance on the day. Friend Matt only received his bike in May, but took to the training like a duck to water. Shortly after the pair began their training, friends Martin and Nick decided that they loved the idea and joined Ashely and Matt on their challenge.
Speaking about his achievement Ashley said: “Recent events in my life and the coronavirus pandemic reinforced to me the fact that life is very short, and that the things you love can be taken from you in an instant. I’ve also learnt the importance of kindness, positivity, and good mental health. So, I decided to challenge myself in memory of my mum. A marathon was out of the question for me as I have a glass knee, but I thought the 2021 London to Brighton Cycle Ride would be a good alternative. Having my friends join me on my challenge was great because it meant we could train together and motivate each other along the way. I wanted to give something back to Farleigh Hospice because they took such great care of my mum in the final weeks of her life, making sure that she was as comfortable as possible. Their support has continued since her passing and they have been a great help to me and my family. They even arranged for me to have bereavement counselling closer to home to save me making the journey to the hospice.”
To anyone that is new to cycling who is considering taking on a similar challenge, Ashley offered the following advice: “As someone who was new to cycling when I took on this challenge, I would say that if I can do it, so can you. Make sure you invest in the right clothing – padded bib shorts are a must! Also, don’t forget to ‘clip out’ at red lights, it is very embarrassing taking a tumble in front of cars at traffic lights.”
The friends now have the cycling bug, and are looking to go several spins further by undertaking the London to Amsterdam challenge in September 2022 in aid of Farleigh.
Debbie de Boltz, Fundraising Manager at Farleigh Hospice said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Ashley, Matt, Martin and Nick for undertaking such a big challenge in aid of the hospice. Thank you also to Ashley’s employer, ABM Aviation, for their very generous donation. We are immensely grateful for fundraisers like Ashley who undertake such tough challenges in order to raise money. It costs over £6 million each year for Farleigh to provide its much-needed services to those in our community affected by life-limiting illness and bereavement, and we simply couldn’t do what we do without the kindness of our supporters.”
In addition to Ashley’s fundraising, the family also have a Farleigh Hospice Everlasting Tribute in Julie’s name and the money raised by Ashley and Matt will be added to this tribute.