Members of the National Asbestos Helpline and Birchall Blackburn Law will swap the usual lycra cycling shorts for full asbestos safety gear to ride more than 160 miles to raise funds for the cancer charity, Maggie’s.
On Friday February 12, a team of Birchall Blackburn Law and the National Asbestos Helpline fundraisers will pull on protective masks, goggles and overalls to take it in turns to pedal 166 miles from Maggie’s Merseyside, based at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral, to Maggie’s Swansea.
The sponsored ride is part of the charity’s ‘Maggie’s to Maggie’s’ fundraising challenge that asks the public to get between Maggie’s Centres by any means possible to raise money for people affected by cancer.
The motley crew of 14 riders will gather to use an exercise bike outside the firm’s Chester offices to ride the equivalent 166 miles. The mileage has been based on a route down the A49 and A470 through North Wales, Shropshire, Brecon Beacons and into South Wales.
Holly Smith, Centre Fundraising Manager for Maggie’s Merseyside, said: “We’re excited about the Maggie’s to Maggie’s Challenge the team are taking on – and it is going to be quite the challenge, especially in full asbestos gear! Last year at our Merseyside centre we provided support to over 9,000 people affected by cancer – and to do this we rely on the fantastic generosity of our supporters, so we’re so grateful to the team for taking on this quirky challenge. I wish them the best of luck on the day and hope that they’ll have fun racing to the finish line!”
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks. Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are extraordinary places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need.
Craig Howell, Partner at Birchall Blackburn Law, says: “We represent and help dozens of people every year who have developed lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos dust and fibres in the past. It is a devastating, isolating and frightening diagnosis for sufferers and their families, but Maggie’s offers a form of hope where there is often none. The centres are incredible places and the work they do helps many of our clients.
“The training has been quite tough, especially wearing the breathing masks, but I think we’re ready to take on the challenge between us. As we’re using an exercise bike we’ll miss out on some breath-taking and beautiful scenery but there should be no hills or traffic – although you never know when it comes to traffic!”
Jan Garvey, from the National Asbestos Helpline, says: “Maggie’s Centres are beautiful and empowering places outside the clinical environment that offer a unique approach to cancer care. If you’ve ever visited a Maggie’s Centre you will know why we’ve decided to fundraise for them and committed to cycling a long way in protective asbestos gear. To be honest, wearing the goggles and disposable overalls is better than wearing lycra cycling shorts, but the protective mask makes cycling even more exhausting.”
The Maggie’s to Maggie’s cycle ride will take place on Friday, February 12, from 6am outside Birchall Blackburn’s offices at the Chester Business Park. Anyone wishing to donate and sponsor the cycle ride for Maggie’s Merseyside can go to the Virgin Money Giving page here.
The National Asbestos Helpline is a service provided by Birchall Blackburn Law and was set up to help those affected by asbestos gain access to support, benefits and compensation. For details go to www.nationalasbestos.co.uk or call 0808 250 6786.
For more information about Maggie’s Merseyside or where the nearest Maggie’s Centre is go to www.maggiescentres.org.