The business of training is on the agenda for a team of fundraisers supporting a cancer care centre in the North East.
Nicola Short, executive director of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, and her business development manager colleague Jessica Williams have joined forces with forum members Jeff Jamison and Nick Hart to embark on Maggie’s Monster Bike+Hike.
The challenge will see them heading off to the Scottish Highlands to cycle 31 miles followed by the hardest gold level hike covering 41 miles from Fort William to Inverness in aid of the Maggie’s centre in Newcastle.
The centre opened on the Freeman Hospital site in May last year and has already welcomed more than 10,000 visitors, primarily patients and their families.
The forum has links with Maggie’s through its vice-chairwoman Lorna Moran, who is also chairman of the centre’s associate board.
Short said: “Visiting Maggie’s in Newcastle left me in no doubt about the worthiness of this cause. It is a fabulous facility, calm, relaxed, informal and above all welcoming to anyone who wants to use it.
“Whether you have just been diagnosed, are already receiving treatment or have overcome cancer, I can only imagine how important it must be to have somewhere to go where you can talk to, share and even cry with others who understand.”
As well as being a place for reflection, staff are on hand to provide clinical information and benefits advice and there are activities such as yoga, tai chi and group get-togethers such as Monday Morning for Men. It costs £500,000 to keep the centre open from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.
Jamison, the founder of creative agency All Media Ltd, said: “My dad has cancer and I suppose that inspired me to do something. I didn’t know anything about Maggie’s before and it is fantastic.”
Hart who is project manager at his family’s business Hart Door Systems, in Westerhope, added: “For me the Bike+Hike is about completing a physical challenge but in doing that it makes sense to raise money for a great cause.”
Maggie’s was started by Maggie Keswick Jencks, who died in 1995 after her third diagnosis of cancer, and has grown into a nationwide network of 17 caring centres.
The Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s Hiker Grove team, as they are known, will join teams from around the country in the overnight challenge which starts on May 3.