Guest Blog – Paul Jennings

We were delighted to have a team of volunteers from Newcross Healthcare support Ride for Rowcroft this year. Paul Jennings, Central Recruitment Manager at Newcross Healthcare has kindly shared his blog with us.

Central Recruitment Team support Rowcroft Hospice

A 0530 alarm call is seldom welcomed, especially on a Sunday! However, this Sunday was different as seven of the Newcross family head down to ‘Ride for Rowcroft 2017’ to support as volunteers for the event.

We don our yellow high vis jackets and ‘give it large’ at the entrance to the event. Clapping and cheering for entrants, pointing them in the right direction, giving thumbs up like they are going out of fashion and regular, impromptu dance routines all make up our repertoire. Jovial (and at times slightly bemused) event participants return our efforts in kind with smiles and waves from the comfort of their cars.

0830 and it’s time to continue our high energy approach at the start line with whoops and well wishes as the 400 participants flood through the start gates and begin their 24km route. It’s not a timed event this year but it is clear there are those that are in it for the win and those that will be out on course for a little longer. It is a family event with an age group of 12 and over. It’s great to see the younger riders heading off with the rest of the pack, Olympic dreams in mind and a steely look in the eyes!

The last of the competitors are on their way. Start lines become finish lines and registration desks become medal displays. Just time for a bacon butty and a swift cuppa before we are back on duty, congratulating finishers, handing out well earned bottles of water and of course, medals galore.

During a few quiet moments I had a chance to talk to some competitors and ask about their motivations for taking part in the event. A gentleman told me how his wife had been under the care of Rowcroft for some time before she passed away earlier this year. He took part in this event with his daughter and told me he would do anything he could to repay Rowcroft for the care, attention and understanding his late wife and his family received during an unimaginably difficult time. This and other accounts emphasising just how important Rowcroft Hospice and all other organisations like them are to our local communities. Looking out at all of the participants celebrating together, showing off their newly earned silverware and thinking about all of the stories they have to share made this a truly heart-warming event for us all.

A huge thank you to the team who got involved in the fantastic event, Dale Carkeek, Emma Tuttle, Sarah Youlden, Leanne Giffard, Paul Jennings, Natasha Woods and Lindsey Tapp.

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