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Sheffield Children’s staff cycle 500 miles to protect people and planet

Ride for their lives
20 October 2021

On 27 October, children’s hospital staff, including those from Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, will arrive in Weston Park Sheffield as part of a 500 mile cycle ride from London to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Thirty core cyclists will be accompanied by up to 40 others along the journey, including four cyclists from Sheffield.

Their mission is to raise awareness of how air pollution and climate change are causing illness and death, especially in children. They are carrying to world leaders an open letter calling for urgent action on the problem, signed by organisations around the world representing 45 million health professionals. They are also delivering the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health, which spells out the many and inseparable links between climate and health.

The Ride for their Lives cyclists work for six UK children’s hospitals: Sheffield Children’s, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, , the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, and the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow. They include doctors, nurses, anaesthetists, occupational therapists, electricians, sustainability officers and other healthcare providers.

The four riders representing Sheffield are Gary Candow (Maintenance Supervisor), Philip Branford (Environmental & Sustainability Officer), Jenny Featherstone (Head of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy) and Jaime Gray (Speech and Language Therapist.)

Rider Gary Candow, said: “I’ll be riding alongside consultants and chief executives – this is the whole NHS. It’s an opportunity for a huge amount of people to get the message across – there are millions of people networked with the NHS. Everybody has got a responsibility. I’m putting the message out to everyone I work with about the benefits of riding a bike and just getting out of the car, changes like that can make such a huge difference on our climate.”

Ruth Brown, Acting Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said:

“The global problem of air pollution and the harmful health effects on children and young people are well known. At Sheffield Children’s we’re proud to be playing our part in raising awareness of the dangers of air pollution and its wider health impacts to give our future generations the best chance of a healthier future.”

During the week-long ride they will stop – with a single pod – at Birmingham, Sheffield and Newcastle to highlight the effect on health of air pollution and climate change. Riders and the five pods will arrive in Glasgow on 31 October as COP26 begins, where they will call on world leaders to make air pollution a priority in climate action and sustainable development activities.


Event information for 27 October at Weston Park:

cycle for our climate, event on 27 October 2021 at Weston Park, Sheffield. learn about climate change and how cycling can help reduce climate change - event for all children

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