Paul Atkinson was among a wonderful group of supporters who took on the 100-mile route at the St Margaret’s Charity Cycle Ride in April. Paul, who is an avid cyclist, said he was inspired to take on the challenge for the hospice by his mother-in-law, Joan, who received support from St Margaret’s following a cancer diagnosis.
“Joan stayed at the hospice’s In-patient Unit in Taunton a few times while she was unwell and the care she received was brilliant,” Paul said. “Just before Christmas Joan stayed at the hospice for around two weeks and the support the staff gave not only to her but to the whole family was absolutely amazing. They really looked after all of us and helped to control Joan’s symptoms so she could return home.”
Joan’s daughter, Joanna, added: "The staff and volunteers at the hospice in Taunton were extremely caring and made me feel fully supported. They kept in contact providing advice and help when Mum came home between the periods she spent in the hospice. I shall never forget the wonderful people at the hospice who helped my family and me care for Mum."
Paul Atkinson hands over a cheque to Ellie Weston, Marketing and Events Officer at St Margaret's
“Joan had visits from the Community Team as well and the nurses have been fantastic,” Paul said. “I knew I wanted to do something to give back to the hospice after they did so much for Joan so when I saw the Charity Cycle Ride advertised, I jumped at the chance.
“I first completed a charity cycle ride nine years ago for another charity and ever since then my passion for cycling has just grown and grown. I’m now the secretary of Minehead Cycling Club and six of my friends and I took on the 100-mile route this April. I really enjoyed it and I dedicated the cycle to Joan and raised funds for St Margaret’s to thank them for all of the care and support they gave to her.
“A charity cycle ride is such a great event to do whether you’re a novice cyclist or an experienced cyclist and I’d encourage anyone who is looking for a challenge or to support a fantastic local hospice to get involved.”