Kesgrave cyclist Adrian Rawlinson wins £10,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice after winning The Mountain Warehouse Charity Challenge

St Elizabeth Hospice has won �10,000 thanks to Kesgrave cyclist Adrian Rawlinson who gained the most

St Elizabeth Hospice has won �10,000 thanks to Kesgrave cyclist Adrian Rawlinson who gained the most online votes to win The Mountain Warehouse Charity Challenge. L-R: Jo Rodgers, Richard Butler (Mountain Warehouse), Adrian Rawlinson, Mark Millar (chief executive of St Elizabeth Hospice). - Credit: Archant

St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich has received a £10,000 boost after a Kesgrave cyclist won an online fundraising competition by topping a public vote.

Adrian Rawlinson

Adrian Rawlinson - Credit: Archant

Adrian Rawlinson, of Terry Gardens, battled torrential rain and head-on gales to finish, with just one minute to spare, a 24-hour, 315-mile bike ride from Newcastle to London earlier this year.

He vowed to raise money for the hospice when his sister Catherine died from cancer in March, aged 54.

He was one of 100 people shortlisted for The Mountain Warehouse Charity Challenge – open to any fundraiser taking on an outdoor challenge – and was among the top 10 finalists.

This newspaper backed the 50-year-old’s tireless week-long campaign to win the public vote and it paid off as he was announced as the winner and celebrated his victory at the hospice today.

He said: “It is absolutely amazing. It costs £13 a minute to run the hospice and the £10,000 will pay for 500 hours of nursing at the hospice.

“My sister spent her last hours at the hospice and seeing that personal one-to-one care is amazing. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted.”

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Mr Rawlinson did everything he could to gain votes. He was only 100 votes ahead around half-way through. “I just absolutely drove it,” he said.

He was given the loud speaker at the Kesgrave parkrun last Saturday to urge runners and spectators to vote for him. He put flyers on cars at Tesco Martlesham and spoke to shoppers, a third of whom knew someone who had been treated at the hospice.

He spoke on radio stations and launched social media accounts. A friend celebrating her 50th birthday recorded a live Facebook video from Aldeburgh beach, urging her followers to vote. A group of friends in Brighton even raised awareness locally.

Mr Rawlinson said: “I am emotionally shattered, but obviously elated. I was doing this because I lost my sister in March and just threw myself into it.

“I have probably bored the pants off people, but people have been so generous and gone above and beyond to help out. The hospice benefitted from Pigs Gone Wild and now they have this as well, which is brilliant.”

Joanne Rodger, events and challenges fundraiser at the hospice, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Adrian Rawlinson for completing such a fantastic challenge, cycling from Newcastle to London for the hospice, and then campaigning so hard to win the £10,000 Mountain Warehouse Charity Challenge.

“We would also like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Adrian, as without them we couldn’t have won the £10,000. That money will do so much for the people in our community, going towards providing vital care and support to more than 2,000 local people living with a progressive illness as well as their families and carers.”

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