Pedal power as Dean and Emma hit the high road for Age Concern

Two cyclists will set off this week on the UK's best known long distance journey to raise funds for Age Concern Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

, Dean Suter, an AGE UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin Volunteer, and Senior Day Services Coordinator Emma Wilde, will cycle the length of Britain to raise funds for vulnerable, lonely older people in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin..
, Dean Suter, an AGE UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin Volunteer, and Senior Day Services Coordinator Emma Wilde, will cycle the length of Britain to raise funds for vulnerable, lonely older people in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin..

Dean Suter is a befriending volunteer and Emma Wilde is a senior co-ordinator for Age Concern day services in the county.

They are hoping to take 12 days to make the 800 mile plus journey.

Both have taken up the challenge to ride the length of Britain to raise funds for vulnerable, lonely older people in the county.

During its 70th year, Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin launched its Platinum Appeal to support those living with dementia and their carers, reduce loneliness and provide the information and advice needed to help older people access the financial support they’re entitled to.

With many of the charity fundraising events cancelled due to Covid, the local charity is reaching out to people to take up their own Platinum Challenge.

As a keen athlete and volunteer for the charity, Dean Suter saw the opportunity to raise funds to help older people. Dean said: ‘I have volunteered as a befriender at Age UK STW for the past three years, the support provided by the staff at volunteers at Age UK has been immense. I know they have had to work doubly hard in these challenging times and deserve immense credit.

“I started to cycle seriously during lockdown and, with this being the 70th year for Age UK STW, I looked for a serious challenge.

“Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats is a notoriously difficult challenge, however considering the work that the staff and volunteers at Age UK STW have put in over this period, it is the least I can do.”

Emma Wilde a highly experienced cycle leader said she jumped at the chance to join Dean.

“As a member of the day services’ staff at Age UK , I have witnessed first-hand how hard the past 14 months have been for older people, those with dementia and their carers.

"The isolation and lack of stimulation have had a really negative impact on older people. Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats is a gift. What a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself but also to raise money for our Platinum Appeal,” she said.

Catherine McCloy, Head of Income Generation at Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin said: “We are eternally grateful to people like Dean and Emma for taking up a Platinum Appeal to raise much needed funds.”

People can donate through justgiving.com/fundraising/dean-suter1.

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