A keen cyclist has completed a 1240-mile lockdown challenge he set himself to keep fit and support a local charity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tom Piotrowski, from Worcester, has been raising money for St Richard’s Hospice – a cause close to his heart. Previously, Mr Piotrowski cycled from Worcester to Paris in aid of the Worcestershire-based hospice.
The 46-year-old works for a social housing provider and in his spare time campaigns on a wide range of environmental and community issues. He began his challenge in April after he missed out on the chance to visit his mum in his native Poland.
“We lost our Dad three years ago so I really appreciate how important it is to have the kind of care that hospices provide. I’ve also lost count of the number of people I know locally who have been touched by St Richard’s loving care.” said Mr Piotrowski.
“I became acutely aware the hospice would have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, unable to fundraise in the usual ways. Then I realised I could use my time in lockdown to keep fit and healthy, and at the same time enjoy the wonderful Worcestershire countryside on my bike, while raising money for them.
“I set myself the challenge of cycling 1240 miles as that’s the equivalent distance from Worcester Cathedral to my family home in Poland, a journey I have now been able to make but this time using four wheels!”
“I’m delighted to have raised more than £800 for the St Richard’s team as they continue their care for patients and their families locally.”
And Mr Piotrowski’s incredible cycling challenge has inspired the hospice to create its own cycling event for September. The St Richard’s September Saddle Up encourages supporters to cycle 250 miles over the month whether that’s on a bike indoors, outdoors, solo or as a household or social bubble.
Hospice Fundraiser, Jayne Sargeant, said: “Tom was quick to spot the challenges we’ve been facing; with our fundraising events cancelled and charity shops only just beginning to reopen. And he also represents the incredible spirit of our supporters, looking for ways to help us care despite everything else that might be going on in the world.
“Tom’s challenge was such a wonderful way to keep himself fit and support our care at the same time, he’s inspired us to create our own virtual cycling event fundraiser in September. We’re asking our supporters to saddle up and cycle 250 miles for our care over the month; whether that’s on your own, shared between your social bubble or socially distanced friends or local group. We hope lots of people will get on board, get active and raise funds to help us be there for patients and their loved ones across Worcestershire.
“So, if you’re inspired by Tom’s story, why not give our September Saddle Up a go? Whether you cover the 250 miles out and about, on an exercise bike, on your own or as a group; we’d love to have you on our team.”
To support Mr Piotrowski’s fundraising with a donation, visit:
St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.
Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,400 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.
St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with 22% funded by the NHS.