A SPA cyclist has raised more than £100 for the UK Droitwich’s Befriending Service by riding her bike from the town to Birmingham and back.
The event was organised by the West Midlands Branch of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as part of an event to celebrate 100 years of town planning.
But professional town planner Liz Baker, who works for the Droitwich branch of Age UK, thought it would be an ideal opportunity to raise cash for the befriending service as she knows how important it is.
The scheme recruits volunteers who go out to visit isolated older people in their homes (usually for a regular hour a week) and needs to cover the cost of travel expenses incurred by the volunteers while they are out and about.
Liz had set herself a target of £450 as that would pay for 1,000 miles of travel for the volunteers (the charity reimburses travel expenses of 45p per mile)
As well as the branch serving Droitwich, it also operates the service in the outlying rural areas, including Hartlebury, Cutnall Green, Fernhill Heath, Hanbury, Stock Green, Wychbold, Tibberton and Crowle.
Liz said the 50-mile cycle turned out to be quite an adventure.
“Although I often use my bike for work, I’m 43 and I wouldn’t say I’m super-fit.
“I attempted to use the canal towpath to get from my home in Droitwich to Centenary Square.
“I survived horseflies, overgrown paths, diversions around tunnels – and finally a ‘tow path closed’ sign at Stirchley, so I ended up doing the last stretch along Pershore Road – quite a contrast to the beautiful countryside I had come through.”
It took her four-and-a-half hours to get to the Second City and, after a pub lunch to re-energise, three-and-a-half hours to get back.
“I surprised myself by doing it – especially the return stretch because I was done in by the time I got to Centenary Square.” she added,