Paramedics prepare for cycle challenge in memory of colleague

From left, Steve Pellow, John Veall, Steve Garvey, Simon Williams and Mark Belcher.

Monday 20th May 2019 20:16 BST

Four paramedics are preparing to take on a 330-mile cycle challenge in memory of a colleague.

Steve Garvey, Simon Williams, Steve Pellow and Mark Belcher will complete the fundraising cycle from London to Land’s End in tribute to Wayne Keen, a fellow paramedic with South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) who passed away last year.

The whole team, who between them have more than 137 years NHS ambulance service in Cornwall, are raising money for Cornwall Air Ambulance and Marie Curie.

Air Operations Officer for Cornwall Air Ambulance Steve Garvey said: “We sadly lost our friend Wayne last year to cancer. He was part of the team on the last fundraising cycle we did, so we thought this would be a nice way to honour him.

“We’re a mix of current and retired paramedics. I manage a team on the air ambulance, and Simon was one of the first air ambulance paramedics when the service started, so it was an obvious choice to make Cornwall Air Ambulance one of our charities.

“I see first-hand the difference the service can make to families, and it relies on donations to operate. Any money people can donate really does make a difference.”

For several of the group this will be the second time they have taken on the challenge, after losing a dear friend and colleague paramedic Del Wilton in 2013. In his memory they raised over £2,750 for Marie Curie. 

Both Wayne and Del had previously supported the charity on various challenges.

The group will be joined by SWASFT paramedic John Veall and a mystery guest in the support vehicle.

John said: “We all knew each other well in 2013, but taking on the cycle ride for Marie Curie created a special and lasting bond that helped us through what was a difficult time. We often said we would like to do another challenge together, we never thought that it would be for Wayne.”

The cyclists will set off from Trafalgar Square on 11 June and finish at Land’s End on 14 June.

The challenge will end with a party at Mount Ambrose Cricket Club, including live music and a raffle. Entry £5, all proceeds split between the two charities.

You can donate to the cycle here: https://bit.ly/2EeLiA2  https://bit.ly/30q5VCL

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