On 7th October, Andy De’Ath, General Manager at Center Parcs Longleat Forest, will be embarking on a five-day cycling challenge in America, pedalling 575km in over 30 degree heat through desert, forests, canyons, towns and part of Route 66.
Andy hopes to raise awareness and funds for Together for Short Lives, the UK charity for children and young people who are expected to have short lives.
Center Parcs has been working with the charity for over a year now and, overall, has raised more than £200,000 in the first 12 months. The forest short break company have asked guests for donations when booking their breaks and staff on the five villages have been raising funds for their local children’s hospice. Village teams have done skydives, cake sales, sponsored challenges, special activities and auctions all to raise funds to help families supported by their local children’s hospice. The Longleat Forest team raised more than £12,000 for their local service, Children’s Hospice South West.
Andy said of his challenge: “I went to visit Children’s Hospice South West last summer and I was blown away by the place. The environment, the dedication of the team and meeting some of the families was an incredible experience and really opened my eyes to the support they need. I wanted to do something big to show my support. The challenges these parents face are a mountain compared to my challenge but I’m taking it on for them and to ensure the support continues.”
Andy is taking on the challenge with his friend Colin, who works at a nearby supermarket in Bristol, and the duo have already raised more than £6,500 for the cause. They hope to hit a fundraising target of more than £10,000 before October and have been training for a year for the challenge.
Andy added: “Five days of cycling is going to be a challenge in itself but the heat and the terrain will add another element of difficulty. Colin and I aren’t cyclists so this is taking us way out of our comfort zone. It will be more than worth it when we complete it on that last day, having raised awareness and funds for Together for Short Lives which is an incredible cause. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and I’d be so grateful if anyone wants to help us reach our fundraising target.”
Notes to Editors
About Together for Short Lives:
49,000 children and young people are living in the UK with conditions that are life-limiting or life-threatening. That’s one in every 270 children—the equivalent of one in every school.
Hearing the news that your child has a life-limiting condition and is likely to die young is completely devastating. For tens of thousands of families in the UK this is the reality. These children have very complex and unpredictable conditions and often need round the clock care, seven days a week.
Together for Short Lives is a UK wide charity that, together with our members, speaks out for all children and young people who are expected to have short lives. We are here to help children and their families to access specialist children’s palliative care services when and where they need it. We provide information so families know where to go for support and have the help they need to make the right choices about their child’s care.
Together for Short Lives supports all the professionals, children’s palliative care services and children’s hospices that deliver lifeline care to children and families across the UK.
Together with everyone who provides care and support to these children and families, we are here to help them have as fulfilling lives as possible and the very best care at the end of life. We can’t change the diagnosis, but we can help children and families make the most of their time together.