Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity has a team of more than 30 cyclists ready to pedal into 2020, taking on the challenge of cycling 237 miles over three days from London to Paris.

The 37 cyclists already on board come from a mix of staff from the three hospitals belonging to the Trust along with patients, their families and general supporters from Cornwall and beyond.

“This is the first challenge of this nature for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity and we hope that it will grab people’s attention from Trust staff and patients to their families and people across our Cornish communities and beyond. All joining together to support our hospitals,” said Karen Murrish, fundraising manager for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity.

“This really is an awesome challenge and having previously completed it myself I know that it offers something for everyone from those looking to get back on their bikes, get fit and take on a new challenge to those more avid cyclists who want to take their biking to the next level,” she added.

Each of the cyclists has chosen to support one of the many funds belonging to Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, with a variety of motivations for their choice,

Deb Grills, a former patient at Royal Cornwall Hospital, said: “In the early hours of Sunday, September 8 an extraordinary number of people worked together at RCHT Treliske to save my life. How can I possibly thank the huge number of people who gave their time, expertise, dedication, compassion and skill to rescue me from a serious situation? It’s not just the brilliant surgeons but each and every one the team in theatre, the crash team, the ICU doctors, the radiographers who gave me CT scans in the wee hours and all the dozens of nurses, doctors and HCAs who pulled together for hours to keep me alive.

"If I can raise just a small fraction of that through my own endeavours to put a small something back into our incredible NHS then I shall be delighted.”

Angela Andrews - Head of Commissioning – Children and Family Services at Cornwall Council, is keen to support the charity,

'I am delighted, although somewhat daunted, with joining the fabulous CITS Team for the challenge. I have worked in children’s services for many years and have a passionate belief in ensuring we have the best provision for our children in Cornwall so that all our children have a brighter future'.

Angie continued: "It’s great to be working together with colleagues across the system and I’ll do my best to raise as much money as I can for the RCHT paediatric wards for the children of Cornwall."

There are still places remaining on the challenge which is open to everyone, not just hospital staff.

"We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals to get on board, take on a personal challenge and raise funds for our charity which aims to facilitate care that goes above and beyond for people across the county,” said Lynne Lees, community fundraiser for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity.

Challenge participants will be able to choose which fund from the charity to support. This could benefit a specific area or hospital or the RCH Charity General Fund which is used to support a variety of areas across the Trust.

The challenge begins in Croydon then takes a route through the English countryside to Portsmouth, before crossing the Channel to Caen. Once across the water, participants will cycle over two days across the French countryside before, on day three, reaching the home stretch around the Arc de Triomphe and down the Champs Elysées, before crossing the finish line at the Eiffel Tower.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the challenge is asked to contact the fundraising team by emailing, calling 01872 252858 or by dropping in to the charity pod at Trelawny Entrance at Royal Cornwall Hospital.

So far the challenge line up is:

Allister Grant - Medical Director, RCHT

Lisa Sawyer - Staff Nurse, Recovery

Leanne Roberson - Prescribing Support Officer, RCHT.

Ian D’Arcy - Clinical Support Worker, Phoenix Ward

Nick Masters - Service Manager for ED and Acute Medicine, RCHT

Thomas Smith Walker - Consultant, Obs & Gynae

Harjeet Sahota – Junior Doctor, Histopathology

Sarah Benjamin - Doctor, General Surgery

Aaron Jones - Physiotherapist, RCHT

Neil Tan - Consultant ENT Surgeon

Emma Keohane - Junior Doctor, ED

Russell Hawkins - Consultant Orthapeadic Surgeon

Paul Lidder - Consultant, Colorectal Surgery

Clarissa Lidder - Surgical Specialist Nurse, Critical Care Unit

Deb Grills – Former patient of RCHT

David Smith - Supporter of charity

Rachel Chiumento – Doctor

Rachel Evers (Holway) – GP Mermaid Centre

Tom Holway – Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

Forming a team from the Research Department – Research Riders

Michael Visick - Research Manager, RCHT

Liz Swanson - Research Nurse, RCHT

Nicola Devooght-Johnson - Research Assistant, RCHT

Fiona Hammonds - Medical Surgical Research Sister

Gina Townley - Research Administrator

Fergus Laity - Enotes Change Facilitator

Raising funds for West Cornwall Hospital:

Wendy Sawyer - Deputy Sister, West Cornwall Hospital

Neil Davidson -Urgent Care GP & Speciality Director at WCH

Adrian Evans - Charge Nurse, West Cornwall Hospital

Anne Christine Davidson - Operational Assistant, Kernow Health CIC

Tracey Voice - Health Care Assistant, RCHT

Raising funds for the Children’s Wards – CITS Cycle for Children:

Brendon James -Senior Project Manager, Cornwall IT Services

Christopher Harvey -Project Manager, Cornwall IT Services

Anne-Maree Pascoe - Programme Manager, Cornwall IT Services

Samantha Young - Project Manager, Cornwall IT Services

Tom Stiles - Senior Engineer, Cornwall IT Services

Lisa Nicholls - Project Manager, Cornwall IT Services

Angela Andrews - Head of Commissioning – Children and Family Services at Cornwall Council