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Cyclist raises £3,065 for University charity

10 May 2022

Media Relations Officer Joe Stafford cycled the Ronde van Nederland route to raise funds for medical and humanitarian relief charity UK-Med

Joe Stafford

Joe completed the 1400km Ronde van Nederland route in two weeks - but actually recorded a distance of 1600km, the same distance as cycling from our University to Benidorm as the crow flies. He regularly updated his followers during his journey through his Cycle 4 Ukraine fundraising page.

Joe quickly found that cycling in the Netherlands is not an easy ride – the east of the country can be just as hilly as England, and conditions can often be windy. Joe says: "The last two days were so difficult I could barely stay upright, or even breathe properly at times – it was really tough to complete!

"But I was so glad that I managed it – the knowledge that I was inspiring people to donate to such a good cause kept me going at the numerous times when I felt like giving up."

He adds: "I met so many lovely people on my journey, and was amazed at how generous the Dutch were – the whole country seemed to be involved in the Ukrainian aid effort somehow, with even the smallest of villages hosting refugee families, fundraisers happening everywhere and Ukraine flags flying from houses and buildings in most places I cycled through.

"I had some really inspiring conversations with people who were eager to do their bit to help – it was really uplifting to see how kind and thoughtful people can be. I also got a lot of support from the Dutch media, and briefly became a bit of a ‘celebrity’ as people would say they recognised me from the TV or the newspapers!"

"I raised £3,065 in the end, which I still can’t believe – I had no idea I would manage to raise so much!

"Thank you so, so much to everyone who contributed."

Joe raised funds for UK-Med, a charity based at our University that provides healthcare assistance during humanitarian crises around the world. A team of volunteer medics has set up clinics across Ukraine to provide care for the many people in need, and is also providing support and training for local healthcare staff who are having to respond to situations far beyond anything they’ve ever dealt with before.