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Grantham cyclists back 200-mile fund-raiser to support the homeless




A group of cyclists are gearing up to take part in an epic cycle ride this summer to raise vital funds to support the homeless.

After last year’s fund-raiser was hampered by a number of challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, local cyclists are now being invited to join the 2021 Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride and raise funds to

support the work of The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields with homeless and vulnerable people in central London.

The Friends of the Connection at St Martin’s urgently needs funds to help more people make a fresh start away from the streets.

Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride.(44429880)
Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride.(44429880)

The Connection is based a few yards from the site of one of the original Queen Eleanor crosses in Trafalgar Square and their outreach team is currently out on the streets every day, inviting people

into their day centre and referring them to emergency accommodation.

Capacity has been increased to make sure even more people can get in the warm, shower, do their laundry and receive a hot meal - all in a Covid-secure manner.

Keith Wright, Sylvia Bland, Henry Laprun and Keith Busfield shelter from the rain in St Wulfram’s last year. (44429874)
Keith Wright, Sylvia Bland, Henry Laprun and Keith Busfield shelter from the rain in St Wulfram’s last year. (44429874)

There’s a choice of options designed to reflect your cycling ability and also reflect the Covid-1- guidelines that may be in place at the time.

The traditional route includes 200 miles cycling from Harby near Lincoln, where Queen Eleanor died in 1290, and following the route of the Queen Eleanor Crosses, including the site in St

Peter’s Hill, to Charing Cross in London.

Sylvia Bland andKelham Cooke, the leader of South Kesteven District Council.(44429871)
Sylvia Bland andKelham Cooke, the leader of South Kesteven District Council.(44429871)

The ride starts on Friday morning and ends at Westminster Abbey on Monday, followed by a celebration.

Overnight stops are at Harrowby Lane Methodist Church in Grantham, Geddington and Dunstable. Day cyclists are also welcome.

All meals and lots of cake will be provided, plus transport for luggage and back up, with accommodation in church and village halls.

Thirty places are available. Regular cyclists aged 18 or over are welcome; younger cyclists can take part if accompanied by a responsible adult.

These arrangements may be reviewed in the light of the latest Covid-19 situation.

Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride.(44429877)
Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride.(44429877)

The challenges of 2020 meant that last year people stayed at home but still committed to cycling 200 miles in aid of those on the street.

This option is being offered again this year. Even if you can’t join the Group Ride, you can still take part and help support the Connection’s work.

Keith Wright, born and bred in Grantham, leads the call for more local cyclists to sign up.

Having completed the ride over several years he said: “Hoping to be fit and ready but not feeling up to 120 miles in a day like last year. A great cause.”

Claire Thorneley from Stamford added: “It's a great cause and brilliant challenge raising money to help the homeless through The Connection at St Martin's. Doing 200 miles over three days

from my doorstep meant I could explore my local area on two wheels.”

The Queen Eleanor plaque in St Peter’s Hill, Grantham. (44429868)
The Queen Eleanor plaque in St Peter’s Hill, Grantham. (44429868)

There is no minimum sponsorship target, but over £20,000 was raised last year with an average of more than £500 per cyclist.

The entry fee for the full ride is £80 before 30 June, and £95 thereafter. The fee for taking part locally is £20. Day fee options for the group ride are also available.

To register, go to: www.friendsoftheconnection.org.uk/events or contact Charles Woodd at charleswoodd46@gmail.com or on 07962 213494.

For more information, visit: www.queeneleanorcycleride.org or find @QECR2021 on Facebook.



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