FORMER Stratford mayor Roy Lodge is back in the saddle once again for a cause close to his heart.
The country may be in lockdown but that has not stopped Roy, who is now in his 80s, getting on his bike to support The Shakespeare Hospice.
Roy, who is also a former national and Great Britain international athlete, has completed 100 mile rides in aid of the hospice since 2007. They have have included a trip around the Cotswolds, and a ride from Lambeth Palace in London to Stratford in memory of a loved one who had received palliative care from the hospice.
Over the years Roy has raised more than £23,000 and he was not going to let coronavirus stop him from adding to that total.
During the lockdown, Roy who is an MBE, has been cycling up to 90 minutes a day to raise funds.
Roy’s interest and support for the Shottery-based hospice goes back to the days when he was a medical student on placement at St Christopher’s Hospice in London studying palliative care, and the admiration he had for the late Dame Cecily Saunders, the founder of the movement.
Roy previously told the Observer: “My continuing support for the hospice is based on a lack of strategy, a lack of impetus, and a lack of sustainable funding for high-quality end-of-life care in England.
“The debate about how we ensure that people have good end-of-life care drags on interminably, and evidence of progress is depressingly meagre.
“There is a need for the adoption and implementation of a strategy that makes high-quality end-of-life care a national priority. It is simply not acceptable to be surprised that people die.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/roy-lodge-cycles to sponsor Roy’s latest effort for the hospice.