Kate Watkins, one of Ashridge Court Care Centre’s longest-serving nurses, and her niece, Hannah Williams, have raised over £3,000 for St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne by completing the Eastbourne to Paris Wilfride.
The gruelling 288-mile ride was supposed to take place last year but was postponed because of Covid-19. However, never one to let a minor setback (like a global pandemic!) stop her, Kate was determined to follow through and the pair recently completed the ride, raising £3,149 for the hospice – a huge £1,500 more than anticipated.
Throughout the winter, Kate and Hannah trained hard and kept busy fundraising via car boot, plant and clothes sales. “We emptied the loft of years of items and sold them too!” says Kate.
During the journey Kate updated the home’s residents and staff via daily video calls. Everyone was captivated and cheered the intrepid pair on during the four-day ride.
They have a very personal reason for supporting the hospice, as Kate’s brother and Hannah’s father, Tony, spent time there. Overjoyed to have smashed their original target, Kate says: “What an incredible adventure! After a year of waiting, the disappointment of the postponement and having to train through the winter months, it was hard to believe the ride was actually happening. It was an emotional and, at times, overwhelming experience. The four days went by far too quickly. I have made some amazing friends and it really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Would I do it again? Oh yes, I’d go tomorrow!”