rowena-gregory-three-cheers-for-cheersThe founder of an Epsom-based charity has successfully completed a 60k cycle, raising £510 to help fund hampers full of essentials (and a few treats) for people going home from hospital over the Christmas period.

Rowena Gregory started Three Cheers for Cheers in 2011 and, along with a team of dedicated friends and supporters, puts together 120 hampers for Epsom and St Helier hospitals each year. To mark her 60th birthday, Rowena decided to set herself the challenge of completing a 60k static bike ride with the aim of raising £150 – enough money to fund 10 Christmas hampers.

Rowena explained: “My 60th birthday felt like the perfect time to set myself a new challenge, and raising money to support the work we do at Three Cheers for Cheers was the perfect motivation. Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year, but it can be a difficult time for some people, especially if they are going home from hospital and their usual support network isn’t available – it’s nice for people to know that someone is thinking of them.

“I decided to do the bike ride in the middle of Epsom town centre, by the Farmers’ Market, to help draw as much attention as possible to Three Cheers for Cheers – I even wore novelty antlers! I received lots of fantastic support on the day, which really spurred me on to completing the 60k. It may not have been the Olympics, but it certainly felt like it to me!”

In addition to the £385 raised through sponsorship for the cycle, Rowena has collected an additional £125 – £97 from collections on the day of her 60k challenge, and a further £28 from an afternoon of fundraising and promotion at Epsom Hospital. This brings Rowena’s total to £510, smashing her original target.

Rowena said: “I am quite overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received, and am delighted that so many people are getting behind Three Cheers for Cheers. The money raised so far will pay for 34 hampers, which is fantastic! We’re still taking donations, so maybe we could raise enough for 60 hampers, to keep with the theme of 60!”

Caroline Landon, Chief Operating Officer at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I had the pleasure of meeting Rowena at our Volunteers’ Tea Party this year, and hearing first-hand about the wonderful work of Three Cheers for Cheers. We have been fortunate enough to receive the Christmas hampers for the last few years, and they really do make a huge difference to our patients.

“I’d like to congratulate Rowena on completing her 60k cycle challenge, and to thank her and all involved with Three Cheers for Cheers for their ongoing support.”

To find out more about Three Cheers for Cheers, you can email threecheersforcheers@virignmedia.com. If you would like to make a donation to Rowena’s ‘60k for 60 years’ campaign in aid of Three Cheers for Cheers, please visit www.mydonate.bt.com/events/sixtyforsixty/338471