Matfen Hall Charity Bike Ride for Carers Northumberland1

Fundraising cyclists pedal their way to £3k charity donation

A two-day cycle challenge undertaken by a generous group of cyclists has resulted in a welcome fundraising boost for our nominated charity, Carers Northumberland.

Twenty four cyclists took part in the Matfen Over Border Outing earlier this summer, which saw them cover 160 miles over two days – raising an impressive £3,000 for the charity, which provides vital support for unpaid carers across the county.

Matfen Hall served as both the start and finish lines for the cyclists – the  vast majority of them are members of our Aqua Vitae health club and regularly take part in spinning and training classes together.

The charity bike ride has become an annual tradition since the first fundraising effort back in 2014.

Bob Bell, from Hexham, who has been involved in organising the last four events, said: “Once again we saw a terrific effort from all the cyclists over the two days. As always, there were some challenging sections on the route, but we did it together.

“It’s great to see people who have come through the spinning classes at Matfen now taking part in a 160-mile route. It’s a really rewarding event to be involved with and we were delighted to hand over the £3,000 cheque to such a worthy cause.”

Setting off from Matfen Hall on day one of the 2019 challenge saw the group take a scenic route to Carlisle, via Bellingham, Newcastleton and Etterby. The following day, they made their way back to the Hotel via Alston and Haydon Bridge.

The group were supported by Val Thornton and Angela Watson who stepped off their bikes to drive the support van carrying valuable supplies including food, drink and the all-important puncture repair kit.

Bob added: “It’s an event we all look forward to and it’s very much a group effort. There are a range of abilities in the group, but we make sure to try and stay together as far as possible – right up to returning to Matfen Hall where staff are always kind enough to lay on a bit of a celebration for us and our families.”

Carole Crowe, manager at Aqua Vitae, said: “We’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in the 2019 Matfen charity bike ride. It’s wonderful to see our members coming together to complete a tough challenge in aid of such a brilliant cause. We feel very proud of them all!”

Debra Blakey, chief executive of Carers Northumberland, said: “Everyone at Carers Northumberland is overwhelmed by the fantastic effort of the Matfen Over the Border riders.

“They have raised an enormous amount of money which will go towards our continuing work to support unpaid carers across Northumberland. Not only have the riders raised money but they have also raised our profile and awareness of the charity’s work.”

Carers Northumberland offers unpaid carers information, advice, training and many opportunites to meet with other carers at regular support groups across the county.
To find out more, call the information service on 01670 320025 or email Carers can also register online and find out more about what the charity does at