Olympian to cycle to Paris in aid of hospice

Sally Gunnell OBE DL, has proudly signed up to cycle to Paris in aid of Sussex children's hospice Chestnut Tree House.

Sally Gunnell is set to cycle to Paris for Arundel-based charity Chestnut Tree House
Sally Gunnell is set to cycle to Paris for Arundel-based charity Chestnut Tree House

Setting off on Thursday October 6, Sally will be cycling alongside her good friend Emma Rogers on what will be Sally’s first ever multi-day cycling challenge.

The duo have called themselves ‘The Baguettes’ and are looking forward to joining the other participants on the 4 day, 200 mile journey from Chestnut Tree House near Arundel, all the way to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Sally is calling for budding cyclists from across the region to join the team and make every pedal count for this very special charity.

Sally has been a dedicated Patron of Chestnut Tree House for several years and has provided fantastic support to the hospice during this time.

She has witnessed the specialist care and support that Chestnut Tree House provides to children with life-shortening illnesses and their families, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes across East and West Sussex and South-East Hampshire.

With this as her motivation to take on this challenge, Sally is hoping to raise an incredible £4,000, enough to pay for a child to receive over 6 nights’ specialist care at the House.

Starting at Chestnut Tree House itself, this twist on the classic London to Paris route will be a tough test of determination and endurance.

Sally has already begun training with her team-mate and co-fundraiser Emma.

Sally said: “Chestnut Tree House is a truly an amazing organisation.

“The staff and volunteers all do and wonderful job. I have been privileged to meet some of the inspirational children and families who are cared for by the hospice and have witnessed what a difference Chestnut Tree House has made to their lives.

“The House is full of hope and happiness and it is an honour to be able to help and be a small part of that.

“I would really like to encourage anyone thinking of signing up, to give this challenge a go!

“There is still plenty of time to get the necessary training in. I’m confident that all the participants along with Emma and I, will all be able keep each other motivated and going, especially through the hard miles to Paris.

“It will be a real team effort. The Events Team at Chestnut Tree House are dedicated to providing fantastic support from the minute you sign up to arriving in Paris, including hints and tips about how to hit your fundraising target.”

Kerry O’Neill, Events and Campaigns Fundraiser for Chestnut Tree House, said: “Sally is a fantastic Patron for Chestnut Tree House and we are delighted that she will be joining our cyclists on our first ever Chestnut to Paris cycle challenge.

“We still have places available and welcome registrations and enquiries from anyone keen to join Sally on this exciting challenge.

“This event has been designed to be challenging but achievable with some dedicated training beforehand.

“Participants will be riding for three consecutive days, so the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the challenge. There is a minimum sponsorship commitment required of £1,500.

“We can offer you support for your fundraising. £1,500 may seem like a lot to raise, but if you break it down into smaller chunks and start fundraising right away it is achievable.

“We will send you a fundraising pack full of ideas and we will be available along the way to help you maximise your fundraising activities.

“Places are limited and will go on a first come first served basis, so register now to avoid disappointment!

“You can register online at www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/paris, or to find out more or to chat about the fundraising challenge please call us on 01903 706354.”

Here Sally shares some training tips: “I recommend getting out on your bike as often as possible and racking up some nice long rides.

“Sussex offers some stunning cycle routes with plenty of hills, and with the weather warming up it’s the perfect time of year to get going.

“I make sure I eat plenty of healthy carbs before and after a long cycle, such as a nice bowl of porridge for breakfast.

“It is also important to drink plenty of water along the way.”

If you would like to support Sally and Emma in their fundraising efforts please visit www.justgiving.com/TheBaguettes

To find out more about Chestnut Tree House and the services they offer, please visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk