Willow blog

Pedalling for Special Days

September 22, 2017

Sixty participants from one of our major partners cycled a massive 170 miles to raise more than £74,000 for Willow and Evelina Children’s Hospital. 

The staff at Great Portland Estates, along with their clients and suppliers, impressively pedalled from Bournemouth to Newbury in one day, then straight back to work in central London on the second day, smashing their target of £60,000. 

We organised for Special Day Beneficiary Helen to meet the challengers at the end of their first day, in Newbury, to ease achy legs by reminding them of the impact that her Special Day had on her family. Helen was diagnosed with breast cancer on 19th November 2014, just two days before she and her husband, Craig, were set to move from Cambridgeshire to Berkshire to start a family. 

“It was such a tough time for both of us. Then I heard about Willow, who arranged an amazing weekend break in Corbis Bay for my Special Day. 

It was an opportunity for us both to relax and feel like a normal couple again. It was a relief to get away from the places I associated with being sick and go back to feeling like myself again. And most importantly, it was the perfect way to mark the end of my treatment.

This is why I’m so grateful to Willow and people like you, who help to fund these amazing Special Days. You see, it’s not just the patient that is affected by a serious illness, it affects their loved ones too. So when you’re finding it tough tomorrow, remember that you are doing an amazing thing and helping so many people who are going through such a horrible time in their young lives.”

Motivated by Helen’s words the team rode across the finish line to a cheering crowd in London, including Team Willow in our fabulous array of purple. 

Willow Life-President Bob Wilson, who is also a keen cyclist said: “Thank you to everyone who organised, participated, sponsored and supported this amazing event and thank you for choosing to support Willow. What a fantastic achievement. Having taken on the odd cycling challenge, I can fully appreciate that this was no mean feat!”

Between them, the agents, accountants, lawyers and architects have contributed an incredible amount that will help us to fund many more Special Days.

A big thank you to Toby Courtauld, James Pellatt, Patricia Burton, Martin Quinn, James Shipton and Rebecca Williams for all their hard work and enthusiasm in helping us put this great cycle ride together.