Twenty six cyclists will cover 2,600km in 26 hours to raise £2,600 for hospice bereavement services all from the comfort of their homes.
Members of V-Sprint Cycle Club will use the virtual cycling app Zwift to take on The 2.6 Challenge for Primrose Hospice starting on Saturday (April 25) at 5pm.
The Bromsgrove-based team hope to raise enough to pay for five weeks bereavement care at the hospice’s Coppice Centre which was opened by founder member Jim Varnish’s Olympic cyclist daughter Jess Varnish in 2012.
Primrose Hospice is already experiencing a surge in referrals for its bereavement services which are free to adults and children in north east Worcestershire.
They expect this increase will continue as people unfortunately experience traumatic deaths of loved ones and changes to funeral protocols caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Varnish said: “Once we heard about the pressure the hospice was under we all felt compelled to help
“The thought of people not having help and support during this time is heart-breaking and we know all at V-Sprint Cycling Club can help.
“We have set up a gruelling 26 hour schedule with 26 members taking 1 hour turns in pairs with a target of £2,600 which we are focussed on.
“We will be communicating with each other via Discord throughout the ride to add motivation to everyone.
“In addition we expect riders from all over the world to “jump on” the ride to pull us along.”
The 2.6 Challenge is a national campaign for people to help charities which have seen a drop in fundraising caused by the pandemic.
It focuses on the London Marathon which should have taken place on Sunday (April 26) and asks people to take on a challenge involving the number 26 for their chosen cause.
Sally Insley, fundraising manager at Primrose Hospice, said: “We have been blown away by the support from the members of V-Sprint Cycle Club.
“From a phone call on Friday night to now they have planned it all out and already raised over £1,000 already which is just incredible.
“A big thank you to each and every one of them, this will make such a difference to the hospice at a time when we are seeing demand surge.
“We are looking forward to following their progress on Saturday and Sunday and will be sharing updates on our social media channels.
“We just know they are going to smash the cycle ride and their fundraising goal too.”
Primrose Hospice has continued to run its services though the lockdown by providing telephone, video call and, where there is a clinical need and it is safe to do so, home visits.
All of its services are free but the hospice costs £1.75million to run with over 85 per cent of this total having to be fundraised independently by the hospice.
V-Sprint was founded in 2009 by Mr Varnish, a former Cycle Speedway World Champion. The club is open to men and women of all ages and abilities and the principal activities are road and track cycling.
To sponsor the team, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/v-sprint-cycle-club-zwift-2-6-challenge3116
To find out more about taking on the 2.6 Challenge for Primrose Hospice visit https://primrosehospice.org/events/2-6-challenge-for-primrose-hospice