Cyclists employed by a fast-growing hospitality business are getting back in the saddle and embarking on a 550-kilometre fundraising ride across East Anglia. The team from Chestnut, which has 16 pubs with rooms across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, are taking on the epic ride and hoping to raise £30,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
It follows on from last year’s pub-to-pub ride, during which the team raised £21,000 for Nourishing Norfolk. Now they are preparing to get back in action and, in addition to stopping at the 16 Chestnut pubs, they have also plotted a route to take in the three EACH hospices at Milton, The Treehouse, in Ipswich, and The Nook, near Norwich.
A dozen cyclists are taking part, including a core team of four who will complete the full journey over the course of five days. They are Ian Kyle, Head Chef at The Three Blackbirds, in Woodditton, 30, Chris Matthews-King, Assistant Manager at The Packhorse Inn, in Moulton, 35, Justin Newton, Regional Head Chef at The Black Lion, in Long Melford, and The Crown, in Stoke by Nayland, 51, and Ben Foxcroft, Head of Sales, 44. Others are taking on individual legs.
The route varies from 70k to nearly 150k every day, with the third day being an eye-watering 142k.
“The team are ready and excited about their latest challenge,” said Tori Dexter, Head of Marketing at Chestnut.
“Following the success of the last Cycle Safari, we hope this year’s event will be even bigger and better, raising as much as possible for EACH.
“It’s a really tough challenge, but the team have been training hard and are committed to completing the 550km route in just five days. We’re hugely grateful for the support of our corporate partners, Birketts, Abbeygate Wealth Management and Pilgrims Foodservice, who have made this whole event possible.”
The Cycle Safari gets underway on Monday (25th September) at The Carpenters, in Great Wilbraham, near Cambridge, and will end at The Weeping Willow, near Barrow, in Suffolk.
The other 14 pubs along the way are The Rupert Brooke, in Grantchester, The Cricketers, in Clavering, The Eight Bells, in Saffron Walden, The Three Blackbirds, in Woodditton, The Packhorse Inn, in Moulton, The Northgate, in Bury St Edmunds, The Black Lion, in Long Melford, The Crown, in Stoke by Nayland, The Ship, in Dunwich, The Westleton Crown, in Westleton, The Maltings, in Weybourne, The Wiveton Bell, in Blakeney, The Feathers, in Holt, and The Globe, in Wells.
In addition, during and in the build-up to the challenge, guests will be able to support the cyclists and their fundraising efforts by donating £1 when they pay their bill. Hannah Forbester, EACH’s Senior Corporate Fundraiser for Cambridgeshire and West Essex, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the riders at each hospice and cheering on the team during this challenge.
“We’re so appreciative of the support Chestnut provide us, not only with their amazing fundraising efforts but also through fantastic exposure in the local community.”
Chestnut donated all bill donations during last year’s busy festive season to EACH. When settling up, customers had the chance to make a contribution to the charity. A running total was kept and the final total across the company’s portfolio was an incredible £10,100.