Cycle4Cynthia launches 20th year with new fitness challenge to get more people involved across Northamptonshire

The last two decades have seen the event raise more than £700,000
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An iconic Northampton fundraising event is launching for the twentieth time - and there is a new fitness challenge alongside it this year.

Cycle4Cynthia first launched in 2003 and has since raised more than £700,000 for Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Kettering Road.

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This year marks the twentieth year of the fundraiser, and in a bid to get more people involved, organisers have launched a challenge called ‘Sofa2Cycle’, similar to the popular ‘Couch25K’ scheme.

Esther Underwood has already signed up for Sofa2Cycle.Esther Underwood has already signed up for Sofa2Cycle.
Esther Underwood has already signed up for Sofa2Cycle.

The aim of the Sofa2Cycle challenge is to prepare cyclists for the fundraising event taking place at Holdenby House on Sunday September 17, 2023.

Esther Underwood, a teacher aged 47, has already signed up for ‘Sofa2Cycle’.

She said: “I decided to do Sofa2Cycle to support one of my best friends, Rachel, whose mum sadly died of cancer far too early in her life at Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

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“I currently cycle about once every two years but enjoy it when I finally get back in the saddle. So this challenge is an excellent way to get focussed in the New Year and build up to September’s 20th Cycle4Cynthia.”

Anna Russell (left) was last year's highest individual fundraiser.Anna Russell (left) was last year's highest individual fundraiser.
Anna Russell (left) was last year's highest individual fundraiser.

Anita Frith fundraising director at Cynthia Spencer Hospice added: “We want to help people across Northamptonshire take part in Cycle4Cynthia if they have never cycled before or would like to cycle longer distances but don’t know where to start.

“‘Sofa2Cycle’ will bring together like-minded people to support each other through this cycling challenge all whilst raising money for a brilliant cause.

“Over twenty years, Cycle4Cynthia has raised an estimated £745,000 towards the £4.4 million it costs to run the hospice and community end-of-life services and, in particular, has contributed to the costs of running the charity’s wellbeing service that helps those living with a terminal diagnosis have the best quality of life #liveeverymoment.”

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For its twentieth year, the fundraiser is aiming to get 1,000 riders to take part, each raising £100, to raise £100,000 for hospice services to care for those at the end of their life.

Anna Russell cycled 50-miles in last year’s Cycle 4 Cynthia and was the highest individual fundraiser, raising nearly £1,700 in memory of her mum who was cared for by the hospice in 2020.

She said: “Me and my husband being the stereotypical lockdowners had purchased some bikes and put them to a very small amount of use, so Cycle4Cynthia seemed the perfect opportunity to really make use of them and give ourselves a challenge. And more importantly, it was all in aid of Cynthia Spencer Hospice who had been pivotal in looking after my mum when we found out her cancer was terminal in early 2020.

“Last year, I made it a mission in memory of my mum to raise some money for this very important cause to try and give back to the hospice so more families can receive the outstanding palliative care and support my mum and my family received.”