Simon Hubbard; owner of Strypz Vehicle Branding Ltd. from North Cave, East Yorkshire has not only signed himself up to an ambitious charity cycling challenge encompassing over 360 miles in just 24 hours, but also provided the charity event - in aid of The Sick Children’s Trust - with a huge marketing boost from his business.
The cycling challenge, “24 Hours 2 Le Mans”, was created by Essex-based father David Williams in support of the charity that provided free-of-charge accommodation to David and his wife when their new-born daughter, Aoife, needed life-saving treatment at The Rosie Hospital, Cambridge, some 75 miles away from their home in North Essex.
“We live about an hour and a half away from the hospital so without Chestnut House it would have been a nightmare having to come back and forth with Aoife being so poorly - we would have literally had to camp at the hospital.
“In addition, my wife was transferred as an in-patient and wasn’t entirely well herself due to an emergency caesarean. Staying at Chestnut House meant I could always be on hand for them both – I genuinely slept soundly every night as I knew I was so close.”
Mr Williams added: “Today, we’re all at home and enjoying life. Every day we’re amazed that we have a bouncing, healthy baby. Her first nine months have been such a rollercoaster and we couldn’t have done it without the help of The Sick Children’s Trust. We know the difference Chestnut House made to our family, but many more families need the charity’s support.”
The charity runs ten ‘Homes-from-Home’ that support families of sick children receiving treatment at specialist hospitals across the UK. All the houses are funded entirely by donations, three of which are located in Yorkshire; Eckersley House at Leeds General Infirmary and Treetop and Magnolia Houses at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Every night, the charity is able to support 146 families facing some of the most difficult situations and provides them with a much-needed lifeline.
Mr Hubbard is no stranger to the situation David found himself in only last year. Simon understands first-hand the anguish faced by families when 17 years ago his own son was prematurely. This is what prompted his immediate registration for the event. He Said: “I heard about the event through social media and when I read about the work of The Sick Children’s Trust, I just wished we had had the opportunity of such a facility when my son was born. I enjoy cycling and decided the event was a great target for myself and an amazing cause”.
But it didn’t stop there. After speaking to the event’s organiser, David, Simon realised that his business could help too. He commented: “I spoke to David and hearing about the logistics required to make this event a success I decided that Strypz could really make a difference to the fleet of vehicles and help them stand out even more.”
“We’re travelling from London, throughout the South of England and France to finish in Le Mans just a few days before the biggest motor race in the world. Over 120,000 Brits travel there and we have the chance to really spread the word about the event and the charity.”
Mr Hubbard offered to supply all the support vehicles involved in the event with distinctive signage to help them stand out and raise awareness. Mr Williams added:
“Simon’s kindness and offer of help is fantastic. We’re trying to get as much help with the logistical costs for the event to maximise what we raise for the charity. To be able to make the vehicles stand out like this is way beyond any expectations that we ever had.”
The Sick Children’s Trust was founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas. They believed that having parents on hand during hospital treatment benefited a child's recovery.
Today we have ten ‘Homes from Home’ at major hospitals around the country where families can stay free of charge, for as long as they need whilst their child is undergoing treatment.
Every year we help around 3,500 families, but there is a growing demand for our ‘Homes from Home’ as children must increasingly travel long distances to get the specialist treatment they need.
We are working to a future where every family with a seriously ill child in hospital will be able to stay together, just minutes from their child’s bed during their treatment.