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#TeamStPauls Cycle Ride Success Provides Fresh Air, Fun and Funds

Staff and supporters of St Paul’s Eye Unit embarked on a charity bike ride raise over £8,000 to tackling blindness.

The 28 cyclists took part in the iconic annual Liverpool Chester Liverpool Bike Ride to raiseSome of the cyclists before the ride funds for the St Paul’s Research Foundation, a charity that funds pioneering research into sight threatening diseases.

Cyclists signed up to ride 25 miles or 50 miles route, whilst a few hardened riders took on the leg trembling 100 mile route that took cyclists to Delemere Forest in Cheshire before returning to Liverpool.

"I love cycling and a challenge. I have ridden from John O’Groats to Land’s End and also completed the Coast to Coast ride but never the Liverpool Chester Bike Ride. I can now tick that box knowing that my efforts have gone some way to help others, like me, affected by sight loss."

Neil McLaughlin

Amongst the road bikes and hybrids was a Quad Tandem (four person bicycle), called Lucy.Lucy and the Quad Squad The ‘Quad Squad’ riding the Quad Tandem consisted of two ophthalmic surgeons from St Paul’s Eye Unit in Liverpool, and two fellow cyclists.

The Quad Tandem turned many heads, produced smiles and received plenty support and admiration along the way. A Quad Tandem takes some getting used to as front cyclist, Nick Beare, pointed out: “Turning is strange because the centre of gravity is behind me, like being at the very front of a double decker bus.”

"....all the riders did so well and it was great to witness the shear elation on completing the ride and also the fantastic team spirit that prevailed from everyone encouraging each other along the way"

Tom Southern

One of the riders taking part to raise funds was St Paul’s patient, Neil McLaughlin. Neil said: “I have nothing but praise for the care and support I have received at St Paul’s. I have had problems with my eyes since I was 10 years old and 18 months ago I required a full cornea graft.

“I’d been wondering what I could do to show my appreciation to the staff there and when I saw they were looking for cyclists to join the team I signed up straight away.

“I love cycling and a challenge. I have ridden from John O’Groats to Land’s End and also completed the Coast to Coast ride but never the Liverpool Chester Bike Ride. I can now tick that box knowing that my efforts have gone some way to help others, like me, affected by sight loss.”

The St Paul’s Research Foundation funds pioneering research between St Paul’s Eye Unit’sSara celebrates at the finish clinicians and academics at the Department of Eye and Vision Science, at the University of Liverpool. The staff work tirelessly to cure eye disease and prevent sight loss and the impact of their work is felt not only locally and in the UK, but also world-wide.

St Paul’s Research Foundation’s Director of Fundraising, Tom Southern, said: “We are so grateful to all those that signed up to #TeamStPauls and help those affected by sight loss.

“Fundraising has all but stopped during the last 18 months and this was our first event back as a group, so you can imagine there were a few nerves prior to the day. However, all the riders did so well and it was great to witness the shear elation on completing the ride and also the fantastic team spirit that prevailed from everyone encouraging each other along the way. I think we have all missed the social interaction and this event was much needed.”

The Foundation is planning a walk around the Wirral Coast on Sunday 5th September and is inviting staff, patients, family, friends and pets to come along. To get involved, please call 0151-706-4291 or email foundation@liverpoolft.nhs.uk for further information.