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On yer bike! Kate’s charity ride

Kate Watkins, one of our longest-serving nurses, will be getting on her bike this autumn to raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne.

She and niece Hannah Williams, a contact officer for Sussex Police, have both signed up for The Wilfride, a 280-mile ride from Eastbourne to Paris that marks the hospice’s 40th anniversary.

They will begin their challenge at the hospice on 22 September and should reach the end point, Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower, four days later. The contestants are expected to ride a gruelling 60-70 miles per day!

Both Kate and Hannah are relatively new to cycling. However, Kate is a keen runner who has successfully completed several half-marathons in memory of her brother (and Hannah’s father) Tony, who had cancer. Unfortunately, an injury four months ago put a temporary stop to her running, but she took up cycling after husband Phil bought her a bike for her birthday. Hannah got a bike last summer and goes on regular rides with her 85-year-old grandfather, another cycling novice.

“We are very new to this and have quite a bit of training to do,” says Kate. “On the first day of the event we will be riding from Eastbourne to Dover. At the moment, that seems a long way and pretty daunting. We won’t be breaking any records, but just doing it will be enough. Hannah has asthma so the ride will be quite a challenge for her. And I’m just old!”

Sadly, Kate’s brother Tony passed away nearly three years ago, having spent his last few weeks at St Wilfrid’s Hospice. “He is always in our thoughts,” she says. “He would be so proud of Hannah and probably just laugh at me!

“St Wilfrid’s really was there for Tony, and also for us as a family. This last year has been so hard for charities, which is why we are trying to raise as much money as we can via this bike ride.”

St Wilfrid’s Hospice has been providing nursing care to people living with a life-limiting illness for 40 years. It also supports family and close friends during the illness and bereavement of their loved one.

If you would like to support Kate and Hannah, you can donate to their JustGiving page by clicking here.