We hand over to Julia for an update on her successful Action Medical Research coffee morning
Four years ago I offered to host a coffee stop for Marlow Riders who, every Saturday during the summer, set off from Marlow and meet up for coffee and cakes en route. It seemed like a good opportunity to raise some money for charity by doing what I enjoy (making cakes). Of course I was going to invite BTS as well, and also try to drum up some help from my BTS colleagues.
It all ended up being a big success, with around £400 raised for the charity, which that year was Children in Need. The following year we raised a similar amount for the Maidenhead Cycle Hub, and then last year as word has spread about all the cakes on offer (and having picked a date which turned out to be a beautiful sunny day) we had a record number of riders (around 130) and raised a whopping £800 for Action Medical Research
It now seems to have become a regular item on the Marlow Riders’ calendar and they contacted me back in January to book this year’s coffee stop. Expecting even more riders than last year, BTS members rallied round and helped provide a veritable banquet of cakes and bakes. Then, disaster! A severe weather warning was issued for the 10th August, with winds of up to 50mph predicted. The Marlow ride leaders contemplated cancelling all rides. At the 11th hour they decided to offer shorter rides and invite people to drive over for coffee if they were worried about cycling. The BTS ride leaders expected a low turnout and the C riders decided not to risk it.
Amazingly the lure of unlimited cakes and coffee, and the optimism of cyclists about how bad the weather is really going to be, meant that around 70 BTS and Marlow Riders turned up during the morning and between them very generously donated £520 to Action Medical Research. That money will go to their “Born too Soon” campaign, funding research into premature birth. Over 1000 premature babies die in the UK every year, it’s the biggest killer of under 5s across the world, and still a problem that is not really understood. You can read more here:
As an aside, in the garden we had an Action Medical Research poster showing a picture of a tiny, premature baby. That baby is Freya, the granddaughter of one of the Marlow Riders. She was born at 27 weeks weighing only 2lbs and thanks to interventions pioneered by Action Medical Research she is now a happy and healthy 2-year old. She is one of the lucky ones. Hopefully your donations will help more babies like her to grow into healthy children and adults.
We hope to see you there next year.