A cyclist from Flookburgh plans to pedal almost 1,000 miles in just six days as he rides from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of Bay Hospitals Charity.

Darryl Dixon is tackling the epic challenge in May, riding up to 167 miles a day to raise funds for Furness General Hospital.

He will be joined on his journey by Neil Purcell, who will drive Darryl’s support vehicle and ensure he stays well-fed and hydrated throughout the route.

Darryl has gathered numerous sponsors already, including ICR Integrity Ltd – a leading integrated provider of maintenance, repair and production solutions for industrial related services to the offshore oil and gas, power, chemical, nuclear and defence industries worldwide – where he works as a director.

Donations pledged so far have already passed £4,000 and Darryl is well on course to smash his original target of £5,000.

He said: “I’m hoping to raise as much money as we can for Furness General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and associated wards.

“This is to support our local NHS workers who continue to work so selflessly before and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. I can’t think of a more fitting organisation at this time.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated to the cause so far, and to ICR Integrity who have provided lots of support and assistance in preparation for the ride.

“Anyone who wants to join me for a few miles anywhere along the route will be very welcome!”

 

The idea for the Land’s End to John o’Groats ride came about following the cancellation of last year’s Keswick to Barrow charity walk.

Darryl has raised thousands of pounds for charity in recent years by taking part in the event as part of ‘Team Tonka Fingers’, and wanted a new fund-raising challenge for 2021.

The keen cyclist decided to take the opportunity to ride the length Great Britain, completing training rides of up to 200 miles in preparation.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Non-Executive Director Adrian Leather said: “Darryl is taking on an incredible challenge and has raised a huge amount of money for the charity before he has even set off.

“The money he is raising will make a massive difference to Furness General Hospital and we’re so grateful to him for all he is doing.

“As a cyclist myself, I know that Darryl is taking on a challenge that will test him both physically and mentally, but I know that he will feel a huge sense of satisfaction when he arrives at John o’Groats – both for completing the challenge and for the good that will be done with the money he is raising.”

A number of family members are supporting Darryl’s fund-raising drive. Garry Dixon, Julie Dixon, Jessica Dixon and Beth Gabriel all work in the NHS and have been helping to gather sponsorship for the challenge.

Meanwhile, Darryl’s sister Sara Gabriel, who works in the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Medical Records Department in Barrow, will be taking on a challenge of her own.

The Medical Records team (pictured) has been loaned a static bike by Barrow gym Industry 13 and will be taking it in turns to clock up the miles to match one of Darryl’s long days in the saddle.

Bay Hospitals Charity funds the latest equipment for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to help make patients more comfortable and ensure they get the best possible care and treatment. To donate and support your local NHS hospital, contact Bay Hospitals Charity on 01524 516064 or visit www.bayhospitalscharity.org

To sponsor Darryl’s epic fund-raising ride, which starts on Sunday May 24, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nhs-lejog2021

Darryl’s route

  • Day 1: Land’s End to Taunton – 167 miles, 12,902ft ascent
  • Day 2: Taunton to Shrewsbury – 162 miles, 8,979 ft ascent
  • Day 3: Shrewsbury to Pooley Bridge – 164 miles, 8,502 ft ascent
  • Day 4: Pooley Bridge to Balloch – 148 miles, 5140 ft ascent
  • Day 5: Balloch to Inverness – 154 miles, 6,806 ft ascent
  • Day 6: Inverness to John o’Groats – 151 miles, 7,442 ft ascent