Cyclists will make their annual pilgrimage to Grantham this weekend as they ride to the 12 locations of the Queen Eleanor crosses to raise money for London homeless charity The Connection at St Martin’s.
This is the ninth Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride which will cover 200 miles, firstly visiting Harby, near Lincoln, where Queen Eleanor died in 1290. The journey takes the cyclists to Lincoln Cathedral and finally to Westminster Abbey.
The cycling group has supported campaigns to ensure the history of Queen Eleanor is not forgotten, including raising money for a commemorative plaque at Grantham’s Guildhall which was unveiled in 2015. On Friday the cyclists will be sleeping on the hall floor at Harrowby Lane Methodist Church before visiting St Peter’s Hill on Saturday. It was here where one of the crosses commemorating Queen Eleanor was erected but it was destroyed by forces of Cromwell over 350 years later during the Civil War.
Charles Woodd, Chair of the Friends of the Connection, said: “The number of people sleeping rough in central London every night has doubled in five years. The Connection at St Martin’s provides a range of vital services to help homeless and vulnerable people take the steps they need to in order to get back into society. The Day Centre and Night Shelter are open every day; the Outreach Team goes out every night. On weekdays, users can access practical help and advice on housing, benefits and health, get help to find training, volunteering and job opportunities, and engage in confidence-building creative activities.”
For every £100 raised it gives someone homeless two nights in the warmth and safety of an emergency Night Centre, with showers, hot nutritious food, and a one to one support session with a keyworker.