Two-year marathon fundraiser raises £24,000 for children's charity
- Credit: Joe Hemsley-Rudd
A team of fundraisers in Ely have raised a "phenomenal" £24,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital in just two years.
Founder of Joe 300 cycling challenges, Joe Hemsley-Rudd, started fundraising for the charity after his son Louis had a full 360-degree skull reconstruction at Great Ormond Street.
“They helped us, so I wanted to help them as much as I could,” Joe said.
Over the two years, Joe has challenged himself to a number of fundraising tasks, and the money has just kept pouring in.
Last year, he cycled from Ely Cathedral to Great Ormond Street Hospital as well as asking the public to donate toys for the children there.
“We had £1,000 worth of toys that the people of Ely kindly donated which was fantastic,” Joe said.
“We were also meant to be doing a cycle from London to Paris, but it’s been cancelled both years due to Covid.”
That’s when Joe decided to do something a “little bit special” and took on a 24-hour virtual cycle ride instead.
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“At this point in my fundraising (October 2021), I was joined by Jess Dixon, Olivia Dixon, Stuart Grainger, Joe Ison and Matt Bradney,” said Joe.
“Myself, Stuart, Joe and Jess all completed six hours on a spin bike.
“We managed to cycle over 300 miles, raising £5,500.
Joe added that he’s been supported in his fundraising by multiple businesses in the Ely/Cambridge area.
“They’ve got behind us and kindly donated. So many individuals have got involved too.”
Due to current restrictions, Joe and his team were unable to visit Great Ormond Street to present the cheque.
Instead, Ely Cathedral stepped in and allowed them to present the cheque in front of the cathedral's Christmas tree.
Joe said: “I set out on this challenge a couple of years ago hoping to raise £5,000 for the charity.
“In my lifetime, I’ve set myself a goal of raising £100,000 which both myself and the guys want to help me do.
“The support has been truly breath-taking and inspiring. The team have made a huge difference for this charity but also the community.
He added: Great Ormond Street helped my family out, so I’m really keen to give back.”
Joe and the team hope to complete the London to Paris ride next year.
You can sponsor them here.