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Thomas is gearing up for best time yet

06 April 2017

Fundraising

Grateful dad Thomas Gamby is in serious training mode as he gears himself up for this year’s challenging Prudential RideLondon 100.

It will be the fourth year Thomas, from Leigh, has taken part in the event which takes cyclist 100 miles from the Surrey countryside to the heart of London - and he is determined to achieve his best time yet.

Once again Thomas, 35, will be raising money for Southend University Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit, in gratitude for the way his partner, Caroline Quirke, and son Theodore, born six weeks prematurely, were cared for.

He explained: "We knew Caroline would not go full term and the care we received throughout her pregnancy was excellent."

Theodore spent 10 days in the unit back in July 2014 but is now a thriving, energetic two-year-old who keeps his parents on their toes.

Thomas said: "To be honest, Theodore was quite well compared with some of the other very poorly babies in the unit. It certainly opened our eyes.

"We had great care from consultant Debbie Jennings and the nursing staff. They reassured us and were always there if we had questions - so it was an easy choice to opt to raise money for them when I enrolled in the RideLondon event."

In previous rides Thomas has raised about £1,675 - not counting Gif t Aid - and he is hoping to give that total a big boost this year. His best time so far was 5hr 1min 56 sec - but that was when he was living in Romford and cycling to his work with a financial company in Docklands every day. Since moving to Leigh, he has - perhaps understandably - dropped the daily commute in the saddle.

So, determined to beat his personal best, large chunks of his weekends are taken up by some strenuous training,

He is quietly confident: "I am going to train harder than I did for the last two years."

If anyone would like to donate to the Southend Hospital Neonatal Unit in support of Thomas, see www.justgiving.com/Thomas-Gamby2017

The hospital is calling for any keen cyclists who would like to take part in the 100-mile challenge to join its charity team. The registration fee is £50 with a minimum sponsorship requirement of £500 which will go to the cyclist's preferred ward or department.

To sign up, contact the hospital's Events and Corporate Relations Manager, Elise Fleetwood on 01702 435555 ext 8444, email elise.fleetwood@southend.nhs.uk

Pictured: Thomas Gamby with his son Theodore.