On Wednesday 23 June a local charity volunteer and member of staff, will be setting off on a 12 day endurance ride of their lives in aid of Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin.
Dean Suter is a befriending volunteer and Emma Wilde Senior Coordinator for Day Services for the local charity, both have taken up the challenge to ride the length of Britain to raise funds for vulnerable, lonely older people in the county.
During its 70th year, Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin aimed to raise funds for its Platinum Appeal to support those living with dementia and their carers, reduce loneliness and provide the information and advice needed to help older people access the financial support they’re entitled to. With many of the charity fundraising events cancelled due to covid, the local charity is reaching out to people to take up their own Platinum Challenge.
As a keen athlete and volunteer for the charity, Dean Suter saw the opportunity to raise funds to help older people. Dean said: “I have volunteered as a befriender at Age UK STW for the past 3 years, the support provided by the staff & volunteers at Age UK has been immense. I know they have had to work doubly hard in these challenging times and deserve immense credit. I started to cycle seriously during lockdown and, with this being the 70th year for Age UK STW, I looked for a serious challenge. Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats is a notoriously difficult challenge, however considering the work that the staff and volunteers at Age UK STW have put in over this period, it is the least I can do.”
Emma Wilde is a highly experienced cycle leader and jumped at the chance to join Dean, Emma said: “As a member of the Day Services’ staff at Age UK STW, I have witnessed first-hand how hard the past 14 months have been for older people, those with dementia and their carers. The isolation and lack of stimulation have had a really negative impact on older people. So, more than ever, working for Age UK STW is a real privilege. Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats is a gift. What a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself but also to raise money for our Platinum Appeal.”
Catherine McCloy, Head of Income Generation at Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin said: “These past 14 months have been particularly difficult for so many older people and with many of our fundraising events cancelled it has been a challenge to find alternative ways to generate donations. We are eternally grateful to people like Dean and Emma for taking up a Platinum Appeal to raise much needed funds. It’s a huge test of endurance but I know they’ve trained hard for it and we wish them the best of luck.”