Cyclists’ support that helps keep the wheels of local hospice care turning
It was big, it was bold and it turned Dartmoor blue, raising vital funds for our compassionate care.
On Sunday 9 October, over 1,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities proudly donned their branded blue tee-shirts and took to the saddle for our annual cycling challenge, Tour de Moor, in support of the vital care we provide for local families affected by terminal illness.
Located on the rugged wilds of Dartmoor, participants pitted themselves against the toughest, hill-filled terrain for 52km, taking it down a gear for the 30km route or opting for the more gentle, 11km ride along the tarmac paths of Drake’s Trail.
Sponsored by local company Print Copy Scan Ltd, Tour de Moor helps support the specialist services we provide free of charge to our patients, reaching across Plymouth and into rural areas, including Tavistock, Dartmoor and the South Hams.
Among the sea of cyclists were many taking part in tribute to a loved one looked after by St Luke’s at the end of their life.
Taking on the 52km for his second year was Steve from Tavistock “There’s downhills, a lot of uphill’s, the climbs are horrible but when you get to the top at Princetown the views are amazing and it is so rewarding when you get to the finish. This year I am taking in part in memory of my Grandad who died a few weeks ago of cancer. St Luke’s were there from the start of the diagnosis, to treatment and until his passing. I must say St Luke’s were with the family step by step and provided an unbelievable service, you couldn’t ask for a better charity. It was unbelievable”.
Joining him was Steve Hodge from Plymouth “I’m cycling today for a good friend of mine, Matthew Reynolds who had his 50th birthday in late August and died the week after. He had such great care in St Luke’s, they made it more comfortable for him and extended that support to the whole family. It is such a great local charity, getting involved in an event like this is just nice to give something back”.
But it is not all mud, sweat and hills, Tour de Moor also has a more gentle 11km family route along Drakes Trail. Making it a family day out was English folk singer, songwriter Seth Lakeman and his son Morley. Seth cycling in memory of a good friend, said: “It is so important to support a charity like this, St Luke’s have touched people in so many different ways. I can’t imagine a Devon without St Luke’s, the end of life care and what they achieve is almost hard to fathom. I think these sort of moments when you are pushing yourself physically I felt quite emotional crossing the line and thought of those people who aren’t around anymore and how St Luke’s have helped them”.
And, with 2022 marking 40 years since we welcomed our first patients, in 1982, for each and every Tour de Moor participant there was the pride of receiving a special commemorative medal on their completion of the challenge.
St Luke’s Head of Fundraising, Penny Hannah, said: “It was incredibly moving to see so many cyclists turn out in support of our charity’s compassionate care for families going through the toughest of times.
“All our Tour de Moorers should feel incredibly proud because it is their support – and that of everyone who fundraises and volunteers for us – that will help us keep doing what we do for the next 40 years and beyond. Huge thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s challenge, our volunteers, Dartmoor National Park, Maristow Estate, David May Motor Service’s, The Hire Shop, Appleby Westward and Rapid Relief Plymouth all for whom we could not put on an event of this scale. You have done your community proud!”