GET ON YOUR BIKE FOR FRIENDS OF THE CANCER CENTRE’S NEWRY CANAL CYCLE

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The Lord Mayor, Councillor Garath Keating and Deputy Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Garth Craig are calling on local people to put their pedal power to the test and join Friends of the Cancer Centre’s first ever Newry Canal Cycle on Saturday, 24th September.

Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Newry Canal Cycle is set to be the perfect day out for family and friends, giving people the opportunity to soak up the rich heritage and beautiful surroundings the canal has to offer while raising vital funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre along the way.  With two routes to choose from there is something to suit cyclists of all abilities.  Route A is a 38 mile cycle starting in Portadown, making its way along the towpath to Newry and then returning to Portadown.  Route B is a 21 mile cycle starting in Portadown, making its way along the towpath to Poyntzpass before returning to Portadown.

Calling on people to get on their bikes to support the charity, Lord Mayor, Councillor Garath Keating, said:

“I’m delighted to support this great event and what better way to take in the wonderful surroundings of our local area than with a cycle.  It’s an opportunity to learn more about our history and in particular the role the canal, which dates back to 1742, played in this region’s industrial past.  It’s also fantastic that money raised from this local event will have a real impact on the lives of people here through the work of Friends of the Cancer Centre. I’d encourage everyone in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area to get on their bike and get involved.”

Joining the call for people to get involved, Deputy Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Garth Craig, said:

“The Newry Canal has a wonderfully rich history and it has become a beautiful environment where wildlife and nature can thrive.  This is a great opportunity to not only soak up the wonderful sights and sounds on our very own doorstep, but to do some good for others.  All money raised from the cycle will greatly benefit Friends of the Cancer Centre and the work it does to support people affected by cancer in our own community and across Northern Ireland.”

Friends of the Cancer Centre, based in the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, is one of the leading cancer charities in Northern Ireland working to support cancer patients, their families and carers. Friends of the Cancer Centre works alongside the Belfast Trust to support vital work in the areas of patient comfort and care, research and clinical care.  Friends of the Cancer Centre currently funds 28 additional staff in the Cancer Centre, including doctors, nurses and researchers and the charity is committed to raising at least £5 million over the next three years to fund on-going and new projects which will continue to support local cancer patients.

Friends of the Cancer Centre’s fundraising manager, Claire Hogarth, said:

“Our Newry Canal Cycle is the brainchild of our supporter, Peter Clarke who recognised the fantastic potential the canal offered as a location for a fundraising cycle.  It’s already shaping up to be a great event and I’d call on everyone in the local area to join us and to be part of something really special.

“I would like to thank the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Garath Keating and Deputy Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Garth Craig for supporting the event and all money raised will be used to support Friends of the Cancer Centre’s life-saving and life-changing work which benefits cancer patients across Northern Ireland.”

Registration for the event is £5 per person and each participant is asked to raise a minimum suggested sponsorship of £50. Register online at www.friendsofthecancercentre.com