BEEP Doctors launch Pedal for Life campaign

A team of dedicated volunteer doctors which carries out life-saving work in Cumbria is launching a Pedal for Life campaign to encourage people to get out on their bikes during May and June.

BEEP Doctors (BASICS Cumbria) hope the campaign will boost awareness of the charity, raise funds and help to promote health as part of the group’s 30th anniversary year.

As part of the campaign a group of cyclists, including BEEP Doctors’ founder Dr Theo Weston MBE, will cycle around the perimeter of Cumbria and one of its doctors will cycle from Penrith to Split in Croatia.

Cumbria’s BEEP Doctors, who are all volunteers with the charity, provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency medical care. They work closely with the police and fire services, North West Ambulance Service, Great North Air Ambulance Service and North West Air Ambulance.

At incidents BEEP Doctors can carry out some surgical procedures, such as inserting chest drains; some can perform pre-hospital anaesthetics and all are able to administer drugs that most road crew paramedics cannot, such as ketamine/fentanyl to give pain relief and allow fracture manipulation.

Many of the emergencies they attend are road traffic collisions, as well as incidents involving farms, horses and water.

Some of the cyclists who took part in the around Cumbria cycle ride in 2023 (from left): Rob Douglas, Jen Turnbull, Tim Taylor, Nigel Harling, Georgie Stone and Dr Weston

Jo Blackburn, operations manager for BEEP Doctors, said: “The Pedal for Life campaign is a way of us inviting the community to join us in our celebration of 30 years as an organisation by doing something healthy during May and June.

“We are hoping to inspire as many people as possible to hop on their bikes and do a ride. It might be just a few miles as a family group or something more challenging and we want them to tag BEEP Doctors in the photographs they take and post on their social media sites or email their photographs to info@beepdoctors.co.uk and we’ll upload them to our sites.

“The campaign is also about raising awareness of BEEP Doctors and, where possible, people might choose to get sponsored for their rides and donate the money to us.”

During the campaign BEEP Doctors will also be doing two of its own initiatives. The first will involve Dr Weston and five others doing a 260-mile sponsored ride around Cumbria to raise money for the charity between May 24 and May 28.

It will be the fourth year the challenge has taken place and this year the fundraising target is £5,000.

The charity is appealing to local businesses to sponsor the event and for individuals to show their support for the group by making donations.

“The aim of the ride is predominantly to raise awareness of the work of the Beep Doctors, to raise money and to highlight the area in which we operate,” said Dr Weston.

“We are also doing it because we love cycling, it will be great fun and an adventure.”

The group is aiming to cover around 50-60 miles per day. It will set off from the Beep Doctors’ headquarters at the NFU building in Cromwell Road, Penrith, on Friday, May 24. Day one will see them cycle through the Eden Valley, up to Aisgill Summit and Garsdale Head and then to Sedbergh.

Day two will see the group cycle to Kendal for lunch and then past Levens and Grange-over-Sands to Ulverston.

The third day’s route will take them to Broughton-in-Furness and up to the moors around Ulpha. The group will then drop down to Gosforth, where they will be guests for the evening of members of the West Lakes Rotary Club, which is a big supporter of the Beep Doctors.

Day four is a ride along the coastline past Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Silloth and the final day is a 70-80m mile ride back to Penrith.

“Beep Doctors covers Cumbria and we shall be cycling as closely as we can the boundary of the county,” said Dr Weston.

Those taking part each day will be Dr Weston; Rob Douglas (a member of West Lakes Rotary Club); and Jen Turnbull, a former BEEP Doctors’ patient.

There will also be Tim Taylor, Sean Duffy and Dave Willetts, all of whom are members, like Dr Weston, of an informal group of cyclists, The Wednesday Wheelers, which meets weekly to go cycling in the Penrith area. Several other riders will join for part of the challenge.

Dr Weston said they would be handing out information material and talking to people along the way to raise awareness of the charity’s work.

“We are looking for companies to sponsor the ride,” he said. “People can contact us at info@beepdoctors.co.uk

“Individuals who would like to sponsor us can do so on the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/beep-cumbria-cycle-ride-2024

The second initiative will see Dr Chris Moss, a trustee and active responder with BEEP Doctors, doing a sponsored cycle ride of nearly 1,900 kilometres from Penrith to Amsterdam, via Newcastle, and then through Holland, Germany and Italy to Split in Croatia.

Dr Chris Moss cycling in France

“I love cycling and long-distance cycling,” said Dr Moss, 40, “It is a great way to see the world.

He sets off on May 25 and hopes to arrive in Split by June 15. He will be aiming to cycle between 100km and 200km each day and people can sponsor him to raise money for BEEP Doctors via the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/chris-cumbria-croatia-2024

Dr Moss added: “Cycling is great for your physical and mental health and functional mobility is so important, so that’s why we want to encourage people to go out on their bikes during our Pedal for Life campaign.”

So far in 2024 the BEEP Doctors (BASICS Cumbria) charity has attended 90 incidents and members have completed 277 volunteering hours.


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