My 50th Birthday Charity Bike Ride in aid of SSJ – Round the Isle of Wight
Approaching my 50th birthday, 19th June of this year, I wanted to mark this with an event (a charity bike ride) to make this day memorable for myself as well as raising money for a worthwhile charity. In my work as a manager with Hampshire Probation Trust, I am very aware of – and see daily – the serious consequences of homelessness. I have in my professional capacity seen the important and excellent work carried out by staff at Society of St James in Southampton. Their homelessness services do not just give people a roof over their head, but are also dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change.
Those who know me will also be aware that one of my passions is cycling and I therefore found that supporting “Re-cycle bikes”, a bike workshop and social enterprise run by Society of St James, was the ideal way of supporting this charity and the excellent work they do. “Re-cycle bikes” is attached to one of their homeless hostels and offers the residents something positive in their lives to build skills and rebuild lives. I was hoping that my charity bike ride could provide much needed funding to support the start-up of this important social enterprise.
I completed my charity ride – 62 miles – in glorious sunshine and within 6 hours. All-in-all, a brilliant experience and a really good way to celebrate my big day. However, when nearing the end with only 1/2 mile or so to complete (feeling very tired at this stage and with cramp in my right leg), I made the foolish decision to “jump” a red light. No traffic around at all (or so I thought)….apart from a police car behind me. They promptly stopped me and fined me £30!!! On my birthday!! My own silly mistake, but when the police officer had started writing out the fine and realised it was my 50th and that I was cycling for charity, he softened up a bit. I still had to pay the fine as he said that I “blatantly ignored the red light”, which, being fair to him, I suppose I did.
Staff at Society of St James were fantastic and provided a lot of support and encouragement during the planning stage and during the event itself. In total, I managed to raise more that £1,300 and I was amazed with the support I received and the willingness to support those people in society without somewhere to live (it could have been you or me). I am so pleased to know that my fun cycle birthday ride around the Isle of Wight will also make a big difference to service users at Society St James. A birthday with a difference and an experience I can recommend to everyone.
8th July 2012
Jo Inge Svendsen
We were delighted when Jo Inge got in touch with us with his idea for a charity bike ride. The timing was perfect as we had just started to develop our bike recycling social enterprise.
The fantastic amount of money that Jo Inge raised for this project will help us to fund volunteers expenses, offer training for those that need it plus buy tools and parts for bikes so that we are able to refurbish and sell as many as possible.
Due to Jo Inge’s initiation and inspiration we now plan to hold an annual fundraising charity bike ride on a weekend near to Jo’s birthday (19th June) in the years to come, in order to help raise the profile of the bike workshop and the Society of St James as a whole.
The Jo Inge Birthday Celebratory Charity Bike Ride.
Thank you Jo.
P.S Shame about the £30 fine but you did want your birthday to be memorable.