Cyclists raise funds to provide Covid support in Ukraine
Ten UK-based cyclists have raised almost £8000 for the charity Dnipro Hope Mission (DHM) following a gruelling cycle challenge in May
DHM works through established partnerships with local churches in Ukraine to support the most isolated and vulnerable and equip pastoral workers and healthcare professionals, who are on the frontline fighting the pandemic.
The May challenge saw the group collectively cover 3000km - the distance between London and the city of Dnipro in Eastern Ukraine.
The group, which included three Baptist ministers, rode 'alone but together' due to Covid restrictions, and were delighted to exceed their initial target £5000.
The purpose for the challenge was to raise funds for one aspect of DHM’s life-saving work, to support isolated and vulnerable people to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Money raised is already being swiftly sent to partners in Ukraine, to be distributed where most need exists. This includes providing oxygen for those suffering from the effects of Covid, PPE supplies for those working with the most vulnerable and lifts for minibuses to transport disabled people to and from hospital for treatment.
Mark Allchorn, DHM Trustee and Challenge organiser, said, 'Initial *plans to ride as a group over five days from Bradwell in Essex to Lindisfarne in Northumbria were put on hold due to the pandemic. (*The group now aims to complete this challenge in 2022.)
'Riders included a mix of DHM’s Chair and Trustees, three Baptist ministers and supporters.
'Conditions for the first day of the challenge were wet and windy, but everyone amazingly reached their 160km (100 mile) target, and then added on more miles in better conditions to finish at least 250km by the second May Bank Holiday weekend. I rode from Kings Langley to Eastbourne, with others riding out towards the Surrey Hills, Oxforshire and Coventry. Conditions were less wet but very windy in Northumberland for one of the team based there. Plenty of cake and coffee helped most of us on our way!'
Chair of DHM trustees Joshua Searle, said, 'I am delighted to have completed this significant personal cycling challenge after weeks of training throughout the winter and spring. The outstanding level of support the team has received has been humbling. It demonstrates how so many people have been inspired to support this vital work during the pandemic, to aid our partners in Ukraine reaching and helping the isolated and vulnerable suffering from the effects of the virus.
'The impact of COVID-19 has been particularly devastating on the people of Ukraine. It is unlikely that a vaccine will be widely available until 2022. Many people such as those without family and those who are disabled or have underlying physical and mental issues, often have no one to turn to for help. DNIPRO Hope Mission is here to support them.'
Cyclists posted a number of videos on the DHM website to explain their motivation for riding to support partners in Ukraine, their experiences during long training rides and on the day and elation at finishing.
The charity gave donors a list to show how their donations can make a difference:
£10 provides enough PPE equipment for our ministry team to safely visit people in need for one week.
£20 provides enough food for a vulnerable isolating family for one week
£50 provides a month's supply of insulin for a vulnerable diabetic person who needs to self-isolate
£100 buys a hospital oxygen unit for transporting patients with COVID- induced pneumonia between wards for CT scans and other diagnostic procedures
£750 would fit a minibus with a hydraulic ramp to transport disabled people safely to their hospital appointments