Cure Leukaemia and the Touchwood Shopping and Entertainment Complex are teaming up to get in the saddle for a fundraising bikeathon at the Solihull-based centre.
Between 12pm and 2pm on Friday, June 14th, Cure Leukaemia patron Geoff Thomas will be joining Touchwood’s Marketing Manager Lucy Burnett to be put through their paces on the static bikes in support of Lucy’s participation in this year’s London to Paris cycle in September.
Touchwood have already been supporting Cure Leukaemia this year via Gordon Gives, the donation box at the complex which houses resident ‘monkey’ Gordon, who had previously and iconically swung in the window of Solihull’s Gordon Scott shoe shop since the 1960s.
Tony Elvin, general manager at Touchwood, has a particularly powerful motivation for supporting Cure Leukaemia, as he also did in his previous role as general manager at Birmingham’s Hotel Du Vin & Bistro.
“I was diagnosed with leukaemia when I was 21 and am still here to tell the tale,” says Tony.
“I was living in East London at the time, but now, having been in Birmingham for a good few years and hearing about and seeing the great work of Professor (Charlie) Craddock and the Cure Leukaemia team, it is a charity that is close to my heart for so many reasons.
“When I was at Hotel Du Vin, a good friend of mine and the son of an employee both came down with a blood disorder in quick succession, these events brought it all back home to me, and made me realise how lucky I am.
“We started to do some fundraising for Cure Leukaemia, which is something I have continued since moving to Touchwood, and – given delegation has always been one of my strong points – it is great that Lucy is taking on London to Paris!
“We have met Geoff and been inspired by his story and those of so many other Cure Leukaemia patients, and are delighted to be raising funds.
“We have millions of visitors through the doors at Touchwood during the year, and hopefully this event will help raise awareness of London to Paris, boost Lucy’s fundraising and maybe pick up another cyclist or two for the event.”
Lucy has always been a keen fitness enthusiast and admits that the challenge of getting in the saddle for the 500km of London to Paris is very appealing.
“I love endurance events so London to Paris definitely appeals, especially as it is for such a fantastic cause as Cure Leukaemia,” she said.
“I actually did a triathlon some ten years ago where we started in London and went over to Paris for the cycle ride but this will be very different.
“I love being part of a group, with all the camaraderie, and feeling that sense of achievement at the end of each day, so I am well up for it!”
Lucy will also be sporting one of the cycling kits that will be worn during this year’s London to Paris ride.
“It is wonderful that Touchwood are being represented with Lucy taking on this year’s London to Paris cycle ride,” says Jackie Kelly, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Cure Leukaemia.
“We are very grateful to her for taking on the challenge and wish her all the best with what will be a fantastic experience.
“It has also been nice to see the one and only Gordon getting involved and doing his bit to help with the fundraising, all of which will go towards helping leukaemia patients and continuing progress towards eradicating all forms of blood cancer in the future.”
Visitors are welcome to pop along to Touchwood on Friday in the Atrium to meet Geoff and show their support for Lucy’s challenge for Cure Leukaemia.
Click here to support Lucy via her fundraising page.