Yesterday saw the start of the annual Irish Hospice Foundation cycle from Dublin to Paris. The gruelling 600km journey by 17 cyclists is the charity’s annual campaign to raise funds to support the development of Children’s Hospice Home Care.
In order to take part in the 5 day event each cyclist raised €3,500, equating to €720,000 over the past two years (2009 and 2010). The cycle takes them from Dublin down to Rosslare, across to Cherbourg, and then on up through the beautiful and historic Normandy countryside to finally arrive in the French capital.
The event has been so successful, both in raising funds and drawing participation, that a second cycle has been organised where 44 riders will cycle from Geneva to Nice from Sunday 24th July. It is hoped that around €220,000 will be raised between the two cycling events this year.
Sharon Foley, Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Hospice Foundation, stated: “We hope that the participating cyclists enjoy their experience. To fulfil this feat, they have undertaken many hours of training over several months. Their families have also been fully behind their efforts. We appreciate their support for one of our most important programmes. Their fundraising efforts will be used to support a new service for some of the most vulnerable children in society.”
You can follow all the action on the Irish Hospice Foundation Twitter account and through the hashtag #ihfcycles, or over on their Facebook Page.
Dublin-Paris cycle itinerary
Depart from the southside of Dublin and cycle to Arklow -93kms.
Monday 18th July
Cycle from Arklow to Rosslare-85kms.The group will take the 3.30pm overnight Irish Ferries to Cherbourg from Rosslare.
The cyclists arrive in Cherbourg at 11am and cycle from Cherbourg to Bayeux-108kms.
Wednesday 20th July
This is the longest stage of the event a massive 168kms taking the group from Bayeux to Evreux.
Last day of cycling: This sees the riders enter Paris -105kms.
The cyclists can enjoy the sights of Paris before catching a flight back to Dublin.
On a national level, an estimated 1,400 children are living with life-limiting conditions in Ireland. There are about 350 child deaths every year – the majority in the first year of life. The Irish Hospice Foundation has committed €2.5 million to the implementation of the national policy Palliative Care for Children with Life-limiting Conditions in Ireland. The Irish Hospice Foundation funds the role of Dr Mary Devins who in June was appointed Ireland’s first Consultant in Children’s Palliative Care. The Irish Hospice Foundation has also agreed to fund five out of eight outreach nurses, who will support families caring for their children at home. Since 2007 the Irish Hospice Foundation has funded courses in children’s palliative care for nurses and healthcare professionals where over 1,500 have been trained.
Leading Irish sustainable products manufacturer Kingspan Group is the overall title sponsor for both of the Kingspan Irish Hospice Foundation Cycle Challenges.