A chief constable has taken part in a national bike ride in honour of her friend, who is receiving palliative care from St Catherine’s Hospice.
Chief Constable for Merseyside Police, Serena Kennedy, completed a gruelling 150-mile bike ride to raise funds for St Catherine’s and other important charities.
Her family friend, Mark Astles, is being cared for on the Lostock Hall hospice’s inpatient unit, which spurred her on throughout training and during the sponsored three-day feat.
Chief constable Kennedy explained: “I signed up for the annual Police Unity Tour cycle challenge, which sees staff from across the UK cycling from their area to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, to meet families of police personnel who have died during service.
“I hadn’t cycled properly for years, but Mark is a keen cyclist and loaned me a bike, and he gave me the inspiration to take part. He was at St Catherine’s Hospice when I started training in June, and six weeks later I was taking on the 150-mile route.
“I managed to do a lot of training in quite a short space of time, and I really enjoyed it. We raised vital funds for three very worthy causes.”
The charity bike ride has also supported the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity, and The Doyle Phillips Foundation.
Mark, 59, a retired fire officer for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, returned home to Coppull after a short stay at the hospice for pain and symptom management during the summer, following a diagnosis of maxillary sinus cancer. He is currently staying at St Catherine’s to receive specialist palliative care.
The dad-of-three and granddad-of-two said: “I can’t fault St Catherine’s, the staff and volunteers and the care I’m receiving; it’s second to none. I’m able to enjoy life, with the reassurance that I have round-the-clock care.”
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