A MASSIVE fund-raising challenge is being held in Touchwood Shopping Centre next Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5 for local charity turned regional lifesaver Arrive Alive.
The aim is to cycle the length of the Tour de France in 24 hours, 3,365.8km – on six static bikes.
The event has been divided up into 144 one-hour slots with each participant committed to bringing in £100 which should hopefully raise at least £14,400 for the charity.
Sponsored by Solihull Chamber of Commerce and Touchwood, it promises to be a great event for a fantastic cause.
Arrive Alive is the brainchild of local resident Debbie Roscoe, and aims at supply paramedic-trained volunteer First Responders with cars so they can get to emergencies quickly and start treatment as soon as possible while an ambulance is on its way.
Thanks to fund-raising, grants and donations four vehicles are currently in operation – two in Solihull and one each in Walsall, the Black Country, Wolverhampton and Featherstone.
Debbie is hoping to be able to add a further three cars to the fleet shortly.
Debbie started the charity four years ago after her daughter Ellie fell ill. Fearing she might have meningitis she put her into her car and took her to Heartlands Hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
“I thought ‘this is madness’ – what if I hadn’t brought her? She might not be here now.
“I was thinking about it and came across the First Responders.
“I asked them what they needed and they said ‘cars, we need cars’, and that was it.”
Since then she has, in her own words, ‘scrounged, received donations and carried out bucket collections’ to pay for the vehicles.
“The cars are on the same system as the ambulances.
“If you ring 999 that call goes through to ambulance control and our cars. The car is in the community and can be there before the ambulance and can start treatment right away.”
And with the pandemic putting paid to so many fund-raising drives, Debbie is hoping the amount of cash generated next weekend will give the charity a welcome boost.
To take part, to find out more or to make a donation, visit: https://arrivealiveresponse.co.uk/