A phenomenal fundraising feat has raised nearly £1,000 for an appeal to save Acorns Children’s Hospice in the Black Country from closure.
Kevin Harvey took on the ultimate test of endurance for the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, pedalling his way to success in the Race Across Europe.
The 44-year-old, who is a physiotherapist at the Walstead Road hospice, travelled nearly 3,000 miles through six different countries – France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Spain and Gibraltar – in Europe’s toughest cycling challenge.
And in an incredible display of determination Kevin even finished the feat five days early!
He said: “It was pretty emotional. It wasn’t until the last 10 to 15 miles that I started to realise what I’d actually achieved. At the time the hospice was still earmarked for closure so there were the emotions of that and how it was affecting staff and families. But it was a real adventure; some days were great, and the scenery was incredible and other days were tough.”
Kevin began the challenge in Boulogne sur Mer on the north coast of France at the end of June, cycling 2,933 miles to Southern Spain. He and other participants crossed the Alps twice, the Pyrenees once and climbed the Alps’ third highest paved road en route to Gibraltar.
The Coleshill resident cycled an average of 180 miles a day, completing the challenge in just over 15 days.
It wasn’t until Kevin arrived back in the UK that he learned the news that the decision close Acorns hospice in Walsall had been put on hold and the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal had been launched.
Kevin said: “There is such a drive in this hospice. Every day people are talking about how to help and raise money. It’s a fantastic example of the quality of the team we have here.
“Acorns needs to be one of the first charities on everyone’s mind and people can do anything to support our appeal. Small or large it all adds up and will make a real difference.”
Acorns launched its Save Our Black Country Hospice earlier this month after putting its decision to close the hospice on hold for five months. The charity needs to raise £2million to safeguard the Walsall-based hospice until new government funding reaches its height in 2024.
To find out more about the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal and how you can help, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/appeal
Photo caption: Pedal power… Kevin Harvey is taking part in the Race Across Europe
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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.
• 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 www.acorns.org.uk