Andy saddles up for 970 mile cycle to support his local hospice
Published: 25 Aug 2021
Andy Turner is gearing up to take on an iconic cycling challenge to support St Catherine’s Hospice.
The ‘End to End’ cycle is part of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain challenge. Over nine days, Andy, who works as a Fleet Planning Manager at Govia Thameslink Railway, will cycle 970 miles from Lands’ End to John O’Groats.
Andy says, “Six and a half years ago I weighed 30 stone, so I joined Slimming World and lost 13 stone in one year. It was a big life change and since then I’ve wanted to do something with my fitness. I’ve always enjoyed cycling so I started taking part in various cycle rides raising money for different charities.
From there, I decided that I wanted to set myself a new challenge every year. I completed a 400 mile, four day London to Paris cycle ride in aid of St Catherine’s in 2019. During that ride I met someone who had done the Ride Across Britain – I wanted to step things up so I signed up to the challenge.”
As part of his cycle Andy will travel from the rolling hills of Devon and Cornwall to the majestic highlands of Scotland. He will cycle across moorlands, hidden green valleys, winding back lanes, stunning coastal roads and historic sites.
But how is he feeling about the challenge ahead? “I genuinely can’t wait,” says Andy. “I was supposed to do the ride in 2020 but with the pandemic it was postponed. I’ve been signed up since 2019 so I just want to get going – I’m counting down the days. Obviously there’s a level of apprehension too as it’s the biggest challenge I’ve done so far.”
Andy has been training hard including cycling to and from work, between Horsham and Three Bridges, when he can. “I began by aiming to cycle 100 miles a week, but now I’m up to 150-200 miles a week on average. I’ve also been doing 100 mile cycles back to back and practicing riding in all weathers so that I’m prepared.”
Andy has a lot of support behind him including from his work colleagues. Neil O’Connor, Fleet Planning and Performance Manager at Govia Thameslink Railway says: “Andy’s one of the stars of the show in fleet control and we all know how dedicated he is to cycling. The whole team will be rooting for him on this gruelling challenge. His efforts in raising money for worthy causes are exemplary. Good luck Andy!”
Andy has already raised more than £3,000 for St Catherine’s and is cycling because he wants to “give something back.” “When I did my last ride, the hospice supported me so much,” explains Andy. “They showed such an interest and it really made me feel like they appreciated what I was doing; I haven’t always experienced that. That support makes the whole experience much more enjoyable as I feel like I’m a part of something, and it makes me even more passionate.”
Arron Trott, Fundraiser at St Catherine’s said, “We’re so grateful to Andy for his loyal support of our hospice. His challenges are so inspiring and the money he’s raised will make such a difference to the people we care for. On behalf of everyone at St Catherine’s, I’d like to thank Andy for taking on such a fantastic challenge and to wish him the best of luck. We look forward to following his ride!”
To support Andy please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andyturnerlejog Or to discover different ways you can support St Catherine’s please visit: www.stch.org.uk/diy or to donate visit: www.stch.org.uk/donate or call 01293 447361.