Colleagues from NHS Trust raise over £8000 in long-distance cycle for charity

Posted: 22/03/24

Paul, Mohammed and charity Marketing Manager Daria holding a large cheque donation

In September 2023, colleagues from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) took on a long-distance cycle to raise money for charity.

Occupational therapist Paul Wales finished an incredible 1,300+ mile cycle from Newcastle to Nice, raising over £8,000 for SHINE and Brain Tumour Research.

SHINE is CNTW’s official charity and provides money for the ‘little extras’ that make a big difference to patients. This could be therapeutic activities or items of comfort to assist with people’s care, treatment or rehabilitation. Funds from SHINE have paid for things like sports equipment and therapy gardens.

Paul embarked on the two-week journey from Newcastle to Nice, determined to reach his fundraising target of £5,000.

He was joined by colleague Dr Mohammed Elhamshary for the first leg of his journey from Newcastle to London, before Mohammed returned to Newcastle to take on the Great North Run.

Paul posing under the Eiffel Tower
Paul cycled down the Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower

Paul cycled to Dover to catch the ferry to Calais, before cycling through Dunkirk and on to Paris. In Paris, he cycled down the Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower.

Then, he crossed the border into Switzerland before heading south to Nice, hitting some of the Tour de France climbs along the way.

Paul’s journey covered over 1,300 miles, cycling a minimum of 70 miles each day and as far as 145 miles on the first day.

He said: “When I worked in a community treatment team a few years ago, I asked Mohammed if he’d like to do a cycle ride for SHINE. Last summer we met and he signed up. The planned short ride turned into an epic adventure.

“We cycled three long days in the saddle to London in 30-degree heat. When we arrived at London Bridge, Mohammed returned home and gave his energy to the world famous Great North Run. I carried on to the South of France, over the Alps and into Nice.

“It was exhausting, mainly for Mohammed as he had to endure the endless amounts of conversation from me! But we did it, and it was a fantastic experience. We learnt a lot about our cultures and our way of life, and that if we put our mind to something, we can achieve it.”

The pair raised over £8,000 for the two charities and the funds were split between them.

Collegues Paul and Mohammed standing with their bikes
Paul and Mohammed in London

Sharon Brennan, marketing manager at CNTW, said: “Thank you so much to Paul and Mohammed for their fundraising efforts. Their donation will make a huge difference to our patients. I would like to thank them for believing in our mission and helping us make a positive impact.”

And the pair’s fundraising doesn’t stop there. They will be doing another charity cycle in June, this time from Aberdeen to Paris.

Paul added: “If anyone would be interested in a joining a small group of us to do all, or part of, the journey, please get in touch. This time, we’re hoping to raise money for SHINE, Brain Tumour Research, Blue Sky Trust and Great North Air Ambulance.”

The money raised for SHINE will go towards helping improve the wellbeing of more patients across the Trust’s services in the North East and north Cumbria.