Paris was not far enough for the intrepid ‘cyclists’ of West Suffolk Hospital’s IT department.
The 20 volunteers had aimed to pedal stationary gym bikes the equivalent of the 500 miles from London to Paris and back in 24 hours for the men’s health charity Movember and our Beat It! appeal to buy the hospital a prostate scanner.
But when they crossed the finish line on Saturday, they had clocked up 800 miles — more like the return trip from London to Le Mans.
In fact, the team, which included hospital chief executive Stephen Graves and medical director Dermot O’Riordan, had reached 500 miles after only 14 hours in the hospital staff restaurant.
Web content manager Chris Lockwood, who has led the month of fundraising, said: “We wanted to do something which was eye-catching, rewarding but also tough to encourage people to give what they can.
“It turned out to be a fantastic event, supported brilliantly by the entire hospital. It was difficult at times, but everyone worked together.”
The team, who raised more than £500 through the bike ride alone, set up a webcam so other hospital staff could keep track of them.
They are now turning their attentions to organising a cake sale and raffle – withs an iPad among the prizes – to boost their funds.
West Suffolk Hospital Charity’s fundraising manager Dave Gooderham said: “The entire IT team have really embraced their fundraising with passion, drive and commitment.”
The Beat It! appeal has now raised 75 per cent of its £55,000 target with three big donations coming in in the same week.
John and Archie Tiley, who won the Frames Conservatories’ round Bury St Edmunds treasure hunt, went to the hospital with Frames’ sales manager Steve Savage to present a cheque for £1,500.
Bury’s new Lions Club added another £650 raised with an electric pig racing evening — their first fund raising event — and Pakenham WI donated £200.
To donate to the Beat It appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/BFP-Beat-It or text Beat59 followed by a space and your donation amount (eg Beat59 £5) to 70070.