Derry cyclists aiming to raise £20220 for BUMBLEance with 300 mile cycle to Kerry

A group of Derry cyclists are aiming to raise more than £20,000 for BUMBLEance - the official Children’s National Ambulance Service of Ireland - by completing a mammoth 300 plus mile cycle from the Oak Leaf county to Kerry.

By Michael Wilson
Sunday, 24th July 2022, 7:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th July 2022, 7:13 pm
A group of Derry cyclists from Bellaghy, Castledawson, Draperstown and Loup who will complete the 300 mile journey from Derry to Kerry in an effort to raise £20,220 for the charity, BUMBLEance.
A group of Derry cyclists from Bellaghy, Castledawson, Draperstown and Loup who will complete the 300 mile journey from Derry to Kerry in an effort to raise £20,220 for the charity, BUMBLEance.

Established in 2013, BUMBLEance had one vision, to provide transportation services for children affected by serious and life limiting conditions in a fun and safe environment. They provide safe and comfortable transportation for Ireland’s youngest patients as they travel between their homes and hospitals, hospices, treatment centres, and respite centres nationwide. The service is totally free for service users.

Each BUMBLEance is designed to transport families often travelling from rural areas of Ireland to the main treatment and respite centres in Dublin. Each BUMBLEance is fitted out with state-of-the-art entertainment systems to ensure each journey is as enjoyable as possible. At BUMBLEance the goal is to deliver smiles to Ireland’s youngest patients. Funds are vital to BUMBLEance, to ensure they can cater to the ever-growing number of children around Ireland that need their service.

It was against that backdrop that, in January 2020, a group of cyclists met in the Tap House in Bellaghy to hear the story of BUMBLEance from team member, Noel Doyle. Without hesitation the group signed up to complete the inaugural DerryToKerry event and set an initial target of £20,000 fundraising. At this stage, some of the group didn’t even own a bike.

The inside of the BUMBLEance.

"As a group this is a celebration of two years of training and friendship," explained Noel Doyle, one of the men behind the event which is being sponsored by Bloc Blinds.

"We count ourselves very lucky that we ‘get’ to make this journey raising money for BUMBLEance. The children using BUMBLEance services are making much more difficult trips than we are making. We have been amazed by the incredible support and goodwill of everyone who has helped us in any way."

As of Saturday, July 23rd, a total of £18,791 had been raised by the group who hope to take that figure passed the £20,000 mark over the next week or so. The pandemic meant that the cycle had to be postponed in 2020 and again 2021, but a virtual cycle in Bellaghy in September 2020 saw the great community spirit get the fundraising up and running and raise the profile of the charity and the cycle. And this Friday (July 29th) the 10 cyclists will set out from Guildhall Square at 9.00am and travel to Carrickmacross. Over the next three days they will covering 312 miles which includes 13,000ft of climbing, arriving into Tralee Park, Tralee on Sunday, August 1st at approximately 4pm where they will be met by family, friends and members of the BUMBLEance team.

Day 1 will see the group travel from Derry to Carrickmacross before moving on to Nenagh on the second day. The final day, will see the cyclists make the journey from Nenagh to their destination in Tralee. You can support the group's effort at www.justgiving.com/derrytokerry or on facebook (@derrytokerry), Twitter (@derrytotkerry)

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