A hospice volunteer is gearing up to take on a mammoth bike ride with St Catherine’s in memory of his beloved husband.
Steven Marsden-Lloyd made a promise to his husband Peter to do all he could to support the valuable work of the charity, after Peter was cared for at the Lostock Hall hospice last year.
Not only has he started volunteering in the hospice’s reception gift shop, Steven has also rounded up a group of friends to form a ‘Pedalling for Peter’ team, as they prepare to take on the Wiggle Counties Challenge in aid of St Catherine’s this Spring.
The bike ride, for which St Catherine’s is the official charity partner, is part of the famous Wiggle North Series, and will set off from Withy Grove Park in Bamber Bridge on the morning of Sunday, May 14.
Steven said: “Cycling was something that Peter and I enjoyed doing together
“I initially thought about doing a road race on his bike to raise money for St Catherine’s, but then I heard about the Wiggle event which the hospice is involved in, and it seemed like a perfect fit.”
Fitness fanatic Peter, 41, from Walton-le-Dale, also enjoyed running and swimming, and had completed a triathlon after overcoming a stroke in 2014.
After experiencing back pains in 2016, he was later diagnosed with kidney cancer in May.
He was referred to St Catherine’s where Steven said he received ‘phenomenal’ care and treatment. He died last August.
Steven, who works for BT, was grateful for the support he and Peter’s family received from the charity, and is keen to give something back .
There are three circular routes to choose from as part of the Wiggle ride, a 30, 65, or 100-mile cycle – taking in countryside in Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.
Some members of the ‘Pedalling for Peter’ team are doing the shorter route, whilst Steven and a few others have opted the 65-mile ride.
He added: “I’ve started training but as it’s not a race, it means we can take our time and do it at our own pace
“I’ve done the Guild Wheel, which is 21 miles, and I plan to do it twice in one go as part of my training for the Wiggle Counties Challenge.
“I’d like to raise £2,000 for St Catherine’s – you’ve got to push yourself. Doing it in Peter’s memory, knowing this is what he wanted, is my driving force.”
Steven volunteers in the gift shop on Thursdays, and says it’s ‘comforting’ to be back at the hospice.
Steven said:“It can be such a lonely time and there are some very dark days, but St Catherine’s is here to help. I remember just having someone smile at you or say hello can lift your spirits a bit, and that’s what I’m here for.
“I had no reservations about returning to the hospice; I feel such a connection with the place and the people, and I know Peter would be so proud that I’m doing my bit to help.”
Norman Cutler, fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, added: “The Wiggle Four Counties Challenge was a brilliant event last year and people really came out in force to ride out for a worthy cause. This year’s event introduces two shorter routes to accompany the mammoth 100-mile challenge, so we’re hoping that more riders than ever saddle up for St Catherine’s this Spring.”
To find out more and to register for the Wiggle Counties Challenge, visit www.stcatherines.co.uk or call 01772 629171.