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Around the world with pedal power

09 May 2014


KEEN cyclists and determined fundraisers put their pedal to the metal to help Southend Hospital Charity cycle around the world in 80 days, without leaving the county!

The challenge, in aid of the charity's Keyhole Cancer appeal, launched in February at Intu Lakeside and since then has travelled to a host of locations as keen volunteers saddled up to take a spin on bikes, kindly supplied by leading bike store, Cycles UK. 

Clocking up an average of 60 miles a day more than 1360 cyclists took part to reach 24, 901.55 miles in 80 days during the event which was sponsored by Adventure Island. 

33 local business supported the venture by hosting  the bikes or entering teams to cycle and the final ten miles were completed at the hospital  by members of the fundraising team as well as trust chairman Alan Tobias OBE, consultant colorectal surgeon Mike Dworkin and Denise Goodman, deputy ward manager for post op recovery. 

Denise alone notched up three days of cycling during the challenge which has so far raised £25,000 for the Keyhole Cancer Appeal which aims to raise £600,000 to help fund a new laparoscopic theatre suite at the hospital in Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff.

Once built the new facility will enable surgeons to perform the latest and most complex keyhole procedures for patients needing cancer and general surgery. At its heart will be some of the most advanced camera systems in Europe delivering top quality 3-D images. 

Mr Dworkin said: "The new theatre will deliver high resolution 3D images allowing us to perform the latest and most complex procedures far more easily, plus increased efficiency means we will be able to treat even more patients. It really will make a massive difference to people's lives." 

Lucy Thomas-Clayton, associate director of community engagement at the hospital said: "We have been overwhelmed by the support that this challenge has had from so many local businesses, members of the community and our own staff. We cannot thank them enough for giving us such an amazing kick start to this vital appeal."