Fletchers Chairman Tackles Mont Ventoux Cycle Challenge for ‘Home From Home’ Appeal

1st April 2014

Rob Fletcher, Chairman of Fletchers Solicitors is set to take on his toughest challenge yet. He will be cycling the length of France as well as taking on the Tour de France’s most notorious mountain to finish, alongside six other participants all in the name of charity.

The charity that Rob is undertaking this monumental challenge for is the Walton Centre in Liverpool, to aid with their ‘Home from Home’ appeal.

The Walton Centre is the only specialist NHS unit for neurosciences in the UK. Their specialisms lie in the diagnosing and treating of injuries and illnesses that affect the brain, spine and peripheral nerves and muscles. They also aid patients who suffer from long-term illnesses caused by neurological disorders. The majority of their patients come from the Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire areas, but are able to provide specialist treatment and complex disorders from patients across the UK. Two of the team participating in this challenge are consultants at the Walton Centre.

Their ‘Home from Home’ appeal aims to raise œ1 million by the end of 2014 to provide eight en-suite bedrooms enabling families of patients receiving care to stay at the facility, as many family members are currently sleeping in chairs in visitor rooms. Some of the money raised will also aid the development of therapy gardens and gym equipment for the patients.

On the 19th June 2014, the team will set off for Calais. Rob will start on his cycling marathon on the 20th June 2014 at the start point of Calais, which will mark the start of a 628-mile journey through France, passing Dijon and Lyon and through the Rh“ne Valley. The cycling adventure will culminate at the summit of Mont Ventoux, the 6,273ft mountain made famous for its inclusion in the Tour de France route. They will arrive at the foot of the mountain on the 25th June and take a rest day on the 26th June. Other participants taking on the mountain will then join them on the ascent of Mont Ventoux on the 27th June, returning home weary but triumphant on the 28th June.

Mont Ventoux has been used in the Tour de France route since 1951, and is regarded as the most famous and fearful climb of the entire race. Rob and the team will be taking the BŠdoin route up the mountain, which is the route used by Tour de France and is deemed the most difficult course ascension. Mont Ventoux’s name comes from the French for ‘wind’, explaining the 320km/h winds that can grace the summit. Although Mont Ventoux is not the steepest of mountains, it provides a steady incline and its track has been described as ‘never-ending’.

Rob said of the adventure, “I am a keen cyclist and am looking forward to the challenge. I have previously cycled to Poland in a seven-day trip but this will certainly test my fitness and endurance levels to their maximum. The charity this is in aid of is an incredibly worthy cause and I am honoured to be able to help them. I turn 60 in May, and this will be the perfect way to conclude the celebrations.”

Rob aims to raise a minimum of œ5,000 with a group target of œ50,000. To donate please visit his JustGiving page.

If you wish to get involved in the ‘Home from Home’ appeal or would like more information, you can contact Kevin Byrne, Fundraiser, on 01515295612 or emailing fundraising@thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk. Alternatively you can visit their website www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk

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