I immediately took leave of my senses and signed up, both to cycle and to be part of the small committee of volunteers who have put this whole thing together (Andy, Ringo, Ed, Abi, it’s been quite a journey already).
It has taken us a year of planning, researching, organising, begging, cajoling and fretting to pull it off. Our 30 riders and 11 volunteer crew members have so far raised an amazing £28,000 for Bliss, 80% of our £35,000 target. (Crikey, my eyes just started leaking, must be the carb overload!)
For my sponsors, and those who might consider sponsoring me a few pennies, I just wanted to share an email the team received from Bliss this morning, wishing us luck and saying what our £28,000 means to Bliss.
Just wanted to wish you all the very best of luck with your cycling challenge this weekend! I hope that the weather stays dry for you and that you have a fantastic time cycling together to Paris.
You’ve already raised an incredible amount to help the most vulnerable and poorly babies and I know this is thanks to a lot of hard work so thank you so much for all you have done so far!
I wanted to give you an idea of the difference that the money you’ve raised can make to the families that we work with. At the last look you guys had raised over £27,500.
It costs Bliss £10,000 to provide free counselling sessions to 40 families who are grieving or suffering from stress and anxiety following a traumatic birth.
It costs Bliss £15,000 to train 30 Bliss Champions who go in to hospitals to talk to parents about their experiences and let them know how Bliss is able to help them. These Bliss Champions are volunteers and many are parents whose babies started off needing life saving hospital care as well, who were supported by Bliss at that time.
It costs Bliss £500 to provide 250 families with the Bliss Family Handbook which is a life line and constant source of support and information for parents while their baby is in hospital.
Every year in the UK 80,000 babies are born too soon, too small or too sick. Bliss aims to reach out to every single family with a baby who stays on a neonatal unit. This is only possible with the amazing fundraising support we receive from people like yourselves so on behalf of Bliss and all of our babies and families, let me say a huge thank you for making our work possible.
I hope that thinking about the difference you make keeps your spirits up during any difficult parts of the bike ride.
I will be posting updates as we pedal our way to Paris over the next few days so you can follow our journey. Your support and encouragement means a great deal and will keep me going through the tough bits, so thank you!