Patrons: Bill Beaumont, Mark Lawrenson & Tisha Merry Reg Charity No: 512186

Openreach team pedal the Guild Wheel to generate funds for St Catherine’s

A Preston man assembled a team of workmates and friends to cycle the Guild Wheel in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice, as his family receives on-going support from the charity.

Lewis Worden, who lives in Walton-le-Dale with his wife Naadia, reached out to colleagues to organise the 21-mile bike ride as his father-in-law, Mehboob Bobat, from Preston, is befitting from specialist support from the Lostock Hall hospice.

Lewis, who installs and maintains telephone and broadband networks for Openreach across Lancashire, said: “Just over 18 months ago my father-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 52. This came as a shock to us all and it was very difficult for us to come to terms with. He has since retired from his job at Blackburn Council and is undergoing chemotherapy.

“While this is devastating to the family, St Catherine’s has been there to offer help and support throughout this period by providing counselling and various therapies, all of which our family is extremely grateful for.”

He added: “A couple of months ago, we were asked at work if we would like to raise money for a local charity. Knowing that a number of colleagues have also benefited from the help St Catherine’s provides, I volunteered to organise a Guild Wheel bike ride as I felt it would be something that a few people could take part in without needing to do too much training.

“Our team of seven colleagues and friends completed the challenge on July 7, setting off at 10am from The Continental pub and arriving back in time to watch the England vs Sweden World Cup game and stock up on refreshments! The weather was that hot one of our riders stopped off half way round to get an ice lolly!”

Openreach colleagues Rob Urey, John Sumner, Neil Barden, Paul Pye and Mark Richards were joined by friend Andrew Winckley for the challenge.

Hayley Jackson, fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “People are sometimes surprised to learn that St Catherine’s doesn’t just care for people in their final days – our specialist care begins as soon as someone is diagnosed with a life-shortening illness.

“We’re here for them and their loved ones throughout their journey, offering a wide range of practical, physical, emotional and spiritual support to help people prepare for the future and be comfortable in their final months, weeks, and days – here at the hospice or in their own homes.

“We can only offer this personalised and expert level of care to local families thanks to the amazing support of our communities, who help us raise a staggering £3.5million of our annual £5.2million running costs. We’re so grateful to people like Lewis and his team who fundraise on our behalf – they have donated a wonderful £850 which will be used to continue providing our vital services for local people.”