Fundraising Physio Takes On Europe’s Toughest Cycling Challenge

A fundraising physiotherapist is taking part in the ultimate test of endurance for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Kevin Harvey is hoping to pedal his way to success in Europe’s toughest cycling challenge.

The 44-year-old, who works at Acorns in the Black Country based in Walsall, will travel nearly 3,000 miles through six different countries in the Race Across Europe.

Kevin is taking on the challenge to support the charity’s work caring for children with life limiting and life threatening conditions.

He said: “I think the endurance this challenge requires reflects a lot of the strength Acorns families show in response to the challenges they face. Some families live with worry not knowing what’s coming every day and they wake up each day having to deal with new challenges.

“In some ways it will also mirror some of the different feelings families experience like isolation, loneliness and the need for support from other people. It’s important for us to recognise the scale of the challenges Acorns families.”

Beginning on Sunday 30 June in Boulogne sur Mer on the north coast of France, the Race Across Europe sees participants cycle 2,933 miles to reach Southern Spain.

The route crosses the Alps twice, the Pyrenees once and climbs the Alps’ third highest paved road as cyclists make their way to Gibraltar.

Kevin, from Coleshill in North Warwickshire, is hoping to complete the challenge over three weeks, aiming to cycle 150 miles per day.

The tenacious fundraiser will complete the challenge unsupported, facing an emotional and mental battle as well as physical hardship.

Kevin is no stranger to tough feats; he’s completed a single and double Ironman and was formerly the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest marathon runner dressed as a nurse.

Along with Acorns, Kevin is also raising money for the Warwickshire Search and Rescue team, which he supports as a volunteer.

Kevin said: “Knowing that the money I’m raising will go to two incredible causes will help get me through those tougher moments.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice offers a network of specialist palliative care for babies, children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions, as well as support for their families.

In the past year, Acorns has cared for over 870 children and more than 1,140 families, including those who are bereaved.

The charity relies on fundraising and donations by the local community for 70 per cent of the £10million it needs each year to run its services.

You can sponsor Kevin by making a donation to his Virgin Money Giving page:

To find out more about how you can support Acorns, please visit


Photo caption: Pedal power… Kevin Harvey is taking part in the Race Across Europe

For more information or for interview, photograph or filming opportunities, contact the PR and Communications team:

David Chamberlain: 01564 825020 / 07817 612422 /
Nicki Robinson: 01564 825062 / 07814 302153 /

Notes to editors:

Due to the sensitive nature of Acorns care services it refrains from using the words ‘terminal’ or ‘terminally ill’ in its press releases and public communications when describing the children who use Acorns and the conditions that they have. Instead, Acorns uses the words ‘life limited’, ‘life limiting’, or ‘life threatening’. Acorns kindly requests that you respect this in your communications when referring to Acorns Children’s Hospice. Acorns children have a lot of living to do. Thank you.

• Acorns is currently the UK and the world’s largest children’s hospice charity, as measured by the number of children it is helping to care for.

• It costs £27,000 every day to run Acorns services providing care for children and support for their families. The charity relies heavily on donations to fund the majority of its activities.

• To find out more about Acorns, please visit