Ex-Firefigher to Make ‘Wheel’ Difference for Local Families with London to Paris Cycle

A retired firefighter and a keen cyclist is taking fundraising up a ‘gear’ this January by launching a London to Paris cycle with a 101-mile static challenge.

Simon Baker will be marking his milestone 60th birthday with an epic four-day, 311-mile cycle this summer and is hoping to make a ‘wheel’ difference by raising vital funds for Acorns Children’s Hospice. 

The father-of-two is going that extra mile to raise awareness of the mammoth feat and his chosen charity by cycling a third of the distance at his local Virgin Active gym in Solihull on 17 January. The launch event will take him over seven hours to complete.   

Simon explained: “I’ve had a real soft spot for Acorns in my heart for over two decades now. It’s not until people need the facilities and services that Acorns offers that they truly appreciate the exceedingly good work they do. It’s astounding work and I want to get it out there and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

Simon is no stranger to fundraising and has been supporting Acorns, his local children’s hospice, for over two decades. He and brother Mark are regular visitors to Acorns in Birmingham as part of Midlands Scooters’ annual toy run.

But he decided to get back into the saddle to help fund the charity’s work, when the 100-mile Velo Birmingham and Midlands pedaled past his home in Solihull.

The event inspired him to take on his own 100-mile cycle from his home to Gloucester Quays, which saw him raise over £3,000 for Acorns.

Since then, Simon has now completed two long-distance rides in just the last 12 months – but never on a spin bike.

Simon is hoping to raise £2,000 overall for Acorns to help fund the charity’s care for life limited and life threatened children and young people. He’s already on his way having raised over £1,100.

And when the going gets though, he will think about the difference these funds will make for the families Acorns supports.

“I’m very excited,” Simon explained. “I’ve never done 100 miles on a static before. My legs will be tired, and my body will start to wane, but as I’m pushing the pedals down, there will be only one focus on my mind – I’m raising money for a really good cause.

“It will be worth it. I’m happy to suffer the pain if people are willing to donate and if people keep donating, I will keep the pedals turning.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for life limited and life threatened children and support for their families from its three hospices, based in Birmingham, Walsall and Worcester, and in the community.

In the past year the charity has cared for more than 700 children and almost 1,000 families, including those who are bereaved.

It cost Acorns £27,000 per day to provides its lifeline care and support, the bulk of which comes from fundraising and donations.

To support Simon in his fundraiser, you can make a donation. Visit his JustGiving page here.

To find out more about Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk


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

David Chamberlain:
07817 612422 / david.chamberlain@acorns.org.uk
Nicki Robinson: 07814 302153 / nicki.robinson@acorns.org.uk
Liv Baxter: liv.baxter@acorns.org.uk

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.