A group of keen cyclists is set to embark on a 260-mile sponsored ride around Cumbria to raise money for a team of dedicated volunteer doctors which carries out life-saving work in the county.
They are hoping their efforts will raise thousands of pounds for BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria.
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 Theo Weston, founder and chair of the Beep Doctors Cumbria, who will be one of those tackling the cycling challenge next month.
“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, August 18. Day one will see them cycle through the Eden Valley, up to Aisgill Summit and Garsdale Head and then to Sedbergh, where they will stay in a bed and breakfast.
Day two – ‘quite tough with lots of ups and downs’, according to Dr Weston – 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. “There are gorgeous views from here to the Lake District and the Langdales,” said Dr Weston. 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 include Dr Weston; Rob Douglas (a member of West Lakes Rotary Club); and Jen Turnbull, who lives between Penrith and Carlisle.
“Jen was a casualty I attended about 18 months ago,” said Dr Weston. “She suffered a nasty ankle injury after falling off a horse and we saved her foot by manipulating her ankle.”
Joining the ride for the first three days will be Tim Taylor, who is a member, like Dr Weston, of an informal group of cyclists, The Wednesday Wheelers, which meets weekly to go cycling in the Penrith area.
Rob’s wife Valerie will be following the group in a camper van to offer refreshments when needed and Dr Weston’s wife Michelle will be in a car with spare tyres and other cycling equipment.
It is the third year that such a ride has been held in aid of the Beep Doctors. 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 and promote its summer fund-raising raffle.
“We are looking for companies to sponsor the ride,” he said. “People can contact us at email@example.com
“Individuals who would like to sponsor us can do so on the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/beep-cycle-ride-2023”
It costs more than £150,000 a year to keep BEEP Doctors Cumbria going and the charity relies on donations and fund-raising events.
Cumbria’s BEEP Doctors provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency 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, pushbikes, horses and water.
So far in 2023 the BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria charity has attended 162 incidents and members have completed 566 volunteering hours.
The charity is attending a number of shows and events this summer with its trailer and one of its liveried vehicles. It is planning to be at the Cockermouth Show on August 5 and the Westmorland County Show on September 13 and 14.