A woman whose father and sister spent their final days at St Giles Hospice is calling on people to sign up for Cycle Autumn.

Denise Clarke, aged 65, took part in Cycle Autumn last September to thank the hospice for caring for her father and sister in their final months. She’s now encouraging others to get in the saddle and join her and her husband, John, for their second Cycle Autumn on Sunday 11th September 2022.

Denise, from Tamworth, said: “Last year’s event was really enjoyable and really well organised – there was such a great atmosphere. It is nice to be part of an event where there is such a sense of togetherness.

“We’re taking part in Cycle Autumn as it is our way of giving back to St Giles Hospice – we can never repay them for all that they have done for us and our family. If you’re living in the St Giles catchment area, you really don’t know when yourself or a family member may need their support, so I’d encourage you to get on your bike and fundraise for them!”

Denise’s dad, Richard, was cared for at St Giles in 2012 after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Denise said: “I know I’m biased, but my dad was an incredibly good man – he was so kind, sociable and would bend over backwards to help anyone.

“He was heavily involved in the Methodist Church, where both him and mum did a lot of fundraising for St Giles, even before he fell ill.

“Dad spoke about just how lucky he was to be at St Giles – despite knowing that he was dying. The care he received was second to none.”

Denise’s younger sister, Alison, was also cared for at St Giles in 2018 after being diagnosed with Bowel Cancer.

Denise continued: “Alison came to St Giles when she needed more care than could be provided at home.

“Before she came to the hospice, she was regularly visited by the Hospice at Home team – there was one lady in that team who she built a lovely relationship with.

“Being cared for in the hospice made Alison feel closer to Dad – we managed to celebrate one last birthday with her on 20th February 2018 before she died on 1st March 2018 – St David’s Day – her favourite flowers were daffodils.

“The best thing about the care provided to patients at St Giles is that everyone is treated individually – it’s not a one size fits all approach. They’re not only there to support the patients, but family and friends too – they really do go above and beyond at such a difficult time.”

Cycle Autumn is on Sunday 11th September and will begin and end at the Whittington hospice, with start times staggered from 7.30am.

Riders can choose from four different distances – a Short, Medium, Long and Ultra  for keen and experienced riders.

Entry to Cycle Autumn is £35, with tickets available until midday on Thursday 8th September.

For further information visit https://www.stgileshospice.com/how-you-can-help-us/fundraise-with-us/our-events/cycle-autumn/, email fundraising@stgileshospice.com or call 01543 432538.