EVERY April, the coffers of Northamptonshire's Cynthia Spencer Hospice get a big boost thanks to the launch of its annual charity bike fundraiser, Cycle4Cynthia, at which the impressive total of monies raised at the previous year's ride are revealed.
This year, while there was inevitably no party, no celebrity guests and no presentation of prizes, the crucial element thankfully still went ahead - a transfer of an impressive £58,074 to the hospice raised by the hundreds of riders who leapt into their saddles at Holdenby House last September.
The money will be used to fund Cynthia Spencer's specialist end-of-life palliative care for its patients, as well as vital support for their families and, speaking on behalf of Matron at the Inpatient Unit, Sarah Knaggs, and all her hardworking team, the hospice's fundraising manager, John Helm, offered his profuse thanks to all those who contributed towards the total.
"It costs £504 to provide 24 hours' nursing for each individual patients so to all those who leapt into their saddles for us, who marshalled out on the course, who manned refreshment stations and even to those who came to cheer our riders as they crossed the finishing line last year, we really can't say a big enough thank you for supporting us," said John.
"The figure you raised means that another 115 days' care is funded and ensures that our patients and their loved ones receive the best possible support when it's most needed."
With this year's ride - again being sponsored by leading commercial law firm EMW and set to take place at Lamport Hall on Sunday 20 September - already open for entries, all those with two wheels are being encouraged to sign up now to offer much needed and timely support at what are proving to be no less challenging times for charities as they are for businesses.
Indeed, with its charity shops shut, many of its fundraising activities halted and its donation tins locked behind closed pub and shop doors, the hospice's fundraising team has come up with further creative ways to ensure that the pennies continue to flow in for those who can spare some at this difficult time.
They include Spencer's Mission Stay Home, a challenge laid down by the hospice's mascot to complete one hour's exercise each day to help stay fit during the lockdown, donating some of the petrol and diesel costs that may have been saved by not having to drive to work, taking part in online group quizzes and even sponsored haircuts and head shaves, making the best out of the current closure of the salons and barbers.
Meanwhile, its ongoing fundraising initiatives remain in place, including its lottery, which offers players the chance of winning one of 176 cash prizes each week, the opportunity to support the cause by choosing Cynthia Spencer as the benefiting charity when spending on a number of online sites - Amazon and the Co-op among them - or your business designating the hospice as its Charity of the Year.
Cycle4Cynthia 2020 will take place on Sunday 20 September at Lamport Hall with five, 25 and 50-mile routes on offer.
Proceeds from the ride will also help to fund the hospice's Wellbeing service, which aims to help those with a life-limiting illness to live their life as fully as they can by helping to maintain their physical function and independence for as long as possible.
To enter online, or for more about the history of the event, visit www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk
You can also keep up to date with the latest news on the event, by visiting and liking the ride's and Hospice's pages on Facebook.
For further information, including details of the various ways in which you can support the hospice during these challenging times, call the fundraising team on 01604 210941 or email email@example.com