Hit The Downs & Support Your Local Hospice This May

Hit The Downs

Registration is now open for Hit the Downs MTB, the off-road cycling event on Sunday 6 May 2018, raising money for local hospice care.

The cycling event, now in its second year, gives participants the opportunity to take on the rolling hills of the South Downs Way whilst raising money for Worthing-based adults’ hospice, St Barnabas House, or local children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House.

Starting and finishing at Windlesham House School near Worthing, Hit the Downs MTB offers a choice of two routes – 30km or 60km. Chip timing is included, and refreshments will be provided en route as cyclists take in the stunning scenery and views of the South Downs National Park.

Start line of Hit The Downs

Lucy Brady, Events Fundraiser at St Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House, said: “We introduced Hit the Downs MTB to our events calendar last year and it was really successful, so we’re delighted to be able to repeat it in 2018. The undulating course will test our riders with a multitude of tricky climbs and rapid descents.

“As in 2017 there will be the option of two routes for participants – 30km, or 60km for those seeking more of a challenge, guaranteeing a thrilling day in the saddle and ensuring the event is suitable for new and experienced cyclists.”

South Downs WayChesnut Tree cycle event

Cyclists can take part in the event to raise money for St Barnabas House, a charity which provides outstanding specialist palliative care, both within the hospice and in the comfort of patients’ homes.

The hospice, which is based on Titnore Lane in Goring-by-Sea, has provided end of life care for thousands of patients and their families across the Worthing, Adur, Arun and Henfield areas for nearly 45 years.

It costs over £6 million each year to pay for the cost of all the care services provided by St Barnabas House and only a small part of that is government funded, meaning the majority has to be raised through voluntary donations and fundraising.

Lucy said: “Just 21 percent of the costs at St Barnabas House are paid for through statutory funding, so we depend significantly on the generosity and support of individuals and businesses who help us to raise funds by taking part in events like Hit the Downs MTB.”

Alternatively, participants can sign up and fundraise for Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and South East Hampshire.

Based in Arundel, West Sussex, the hospice cares for 300 children and young adults from the age of 0-19 with progressive life-shortening conditions. As well as providing care at the hospice, the Chestnut Tree House Community Team visit families in their own homes across East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire.

Lucy said: “It costs over £3.5 million each year to pay for the cost of all the care services provided by Chestnut Tree House, and less than 7% of this comes from central government. Families are never charged for their care so the charity relies heavily on the generosity, help and support of the local community. Events like Hit the Downs MTB are invaluable to us, both in terms of raising awareness and funds.”

Registration for Hit the Downs MTB is just £33 per person and closes on Sunday 22 April 2018.

Sign up to ride for either hospice at www.hitthedowns.org.uk, or by calling the Events Team on 01903 706354.

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