A group of intrepid cyclists took on endurance cycling event called Chase the Sun, raising over £13,000 for The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital’s (RJAH) current fundraising appeal – Garden for Alice.

The Oswestry-based hospital launched the Garden for Alice appeal earlier in the year, with the aim of create a stunning outdoor garden for paediatric patients and their families.

Funding is needed to enhance the current garden area to ensure it is inclusive for all the children RJAH cares for, while being accessible throughout the day and during the evening.

The dedicated children’s unit, Alice Ward, provides specialist advice, diagnosis and treatment for children between 0 – 18 years with bone, joint and muscular disorders.

Simon Range, a member of the cycling group, named Nova Raiders, said: “What started as a Christmas present from my wife and a challenge that I had been wanting to do for a long time soon turned into a real team effort after I spoke to a number of fellow Nova Raiders who also wanted to take part in Chase the Sun.”

Chase the Sun is a non-competitive ride which is open to all and has no rules, route-signs, timing or medals. It is an annual physical, motivational and navigational challenge, with the goal of riding your bike from sunrise to sunset on the longest day.

The group of cyclists set off at sunrise (04:27am) from Whitley Bay to make the 205-mile journey to Ayr to finish before sunset (22:05pm).

They chose to raise funds for the Garden for Alice appeal because of their connection to a young lady called Yasmin who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of two and has since received treatment at RJAH and had multiple stays on Alice Ward.

Simon added: “We initially chose to raise money for Yasmin, but she was having none of it insisting it went to RJAH and the Alice Ward Garden appeal – so the planning, training and fundraising started!

“What I really took from the experience was that it was a great team endeavour. It wasn’t just the riders but the support crew and the people who donated that helped to make it happen – a huge thank you to all involved!”

Victoria Sugden, Charity Director, said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to the cyclists of Nova Raiders. It is so very kind of them to chase the sun on behalf of the children of Alice Ward, which would not have been possible without their inspiration – Yasmin!”

Suzanne Marsden, Alice Ward Manager, said: “Our aim is to create a beautiful inclusive sensory garden for our paediatric patients and their families – which is something they thoroughly deserve. I’m incredibly grateful to the team of cyclists for raising such a fantastic amount and helping us edge closer to our fundraising target.”

If you would like to make a donation you can do so by visiting the dedicated JustGiving campaign: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gardenforalice

If you would like to discuss any fundraising ideas for the Garden for Alice appeal, contact RJAH Charity directly:

Pictured is the Nova Raiders handing over the £13,000 cheque to Suzanne Marsden, Alice Ward Manager and Victoria Sugden, Charity Director, alongside Alice Ward patients Yasmin and Riley.