Horsham Action Woman Is Gearing Up For Velo South

Claire Dinsdale

St Catherine’s Hospice are excited to have places in Sussex’s brand new cycling event, the Velo South, a brand new 100 mile closed road cycling challenge which takes place on Sunday 23 September and finishes at  Goodwood Motor circuit.

Claire Dinsdale, from Horsham, is just one cyclist taking part in aid of her local hospice. She explains what drew her to the challenge: “I’ve done a number of cycling events for St Catherine’s before, but because it was a new event, all closed roads, and there’s 15,000 people doing it, it really appealed to me. I thought that would be a brilliant event to be involved in. I’m really excited about it!”

Claire has been an avid supporter of St Catherine’s since her stepmother was cared for at the hospice in 2013. Her personal experience of the hospice’s care has motivated her to fundraise to support it. “It really touched my heart when my stepmother was being looked after at the hospice. The staff are amazing, they’re so caring and they give you so much support. My stepmother was really well looked after, so if there’s anything I can do to support the hospice, I will.”

Claire is no stranger to taking on challenge events in aid of St Catherine’s. She explains, “Since 2014 I’ve done a 100K ride through the night, which was from Windsor racecourse up to London and back. I’ve also done a 10K trail run, a 50K cycle ride in Oxford, two Midnight Walks, and a triathlon! Now I’m taking on the Velo South in September and the Brighton Half Marathon in February.”

Out of her many challenge events, cycling is Claire’s preferred activity, and she gave us her top training tips for others looking to get their wheels in motion, “With your training, try and be prepared. Don’t leave it until the last minute like I’ve done in the past! For fundraising, I’ve found that, locally, everyone knows about St Catherine’s, and everyone is willing to donate because it’s such an amazing cause. When I do bucket collections in Horsham town centre I hear so many different stories from people and how everyone thinks it’s a great charity to support.”

By taking on a challenge for St Catherine’s and becoming a part of Team StCH you’ll join a community of other like-minded fundraisers supporting the hospice. Claire describes her experiences of being part of Team StCH: “The support you get is incredible. I have lots of encouraging emails from the Events Team, who always touch base to ask me how my training’s going. I did about three or four events last year to support the hospice, and I got this amazing thank you card from them with all my event pictures on. It was really lovely. I wasn’t expecting it and it was a really nice surprise.

“I know that any time I have any questions I can email the Events Team and they’ll have the answer for me. The support at the events is brilliant too. You see all these orange T-Shirts and hear a lot of cheers. I’d definitely recommend fundraising for the hospice. They make you feel really special and you know that your support is making a difference to other people in the community around you.”

If you’d like to join Claire in taking part in the Velo South, or are interested in taking on another challenge for your local hospice, contact St Catherine’s  Events Team on 01293 447355 or email:events@stch.org.uk.