Bragging rights up for grabs as Thrings cyclists prepare for Paris bike ride

A team of cyclists from leading commercial law firm Thrings who successfully completed this year’s gruelling Bristol to Paris bike ride have thrown down the gauntlet to their successors to raise a record-breaking amount of money for Bristol children’s hospital charity, Above & Beyond.

While spending four days pedalling 430km from Bristol to the French capital might be considered a herculean effort in itself, members of next year’s Team Thrings have been challenged to meet their £15,000 target – and then beat the astonishing £25,000 raised by their predecessors in 2016.

In April, nine solicitors, cost lawyers and business services staff from Thrings’ Bristol office will form part of an 80-strong team of local businesses, clinicians and patient families who are aiming to cycle to Paris. Collectively the group is looking to raise the £100,000 needed to transform the Major Trauma and Rehabilitation Unit at Bristol children’s hospital.

Money raised will help build a rehabilitation kitchen to aid children re-learn the basic tasks of daily life, create a tranquil oasis garden to provide a quiet, private space for families to spend precious time together, and form a stimulating, fun environment to support every step of a child's long road to recovery.

With the challenge firmly laid down, next year’s team of largely novice cyclists are already on course to reach their target thanks to fundraising initiatives such as wine tasting and cocktail-making events, cake sales, raffles, a charity auction and a Christmas quiz. Partner and Team Thrings 2017 cyclist, Mark Cullingford, even raised £340 by agreeing to shave and redesign his beard.

Meanwhile, a Team Thrings Challenge and Family Fun Day at the one-mile Odd Down Cycling Circuit in Bath is being planned for the new year. The event will see the firm’s 2016 and 2017 cycling teams lock horns in a series of hill and flat circuit challenges, with all-important bragging rights up for grabs.

Mark Cullingford said: “Last year’s cyclists did a magnificent job in supporting Above & Beyond, our Bristol office’s charity of the year. They certainly set the benchmark very high, but confidence among this year’s crop is high, and we are looking forward to pushing our fundraising efforts to new levels.

“Each member of the team has their own reasons for taking on this challenge, but through hard work and sheer determination, the financial and emotional support of our families, friends, Thrings’ clients and referrers, and the firm’s charity committee, we hope to be able to complete the ride and make a positive contribution to the lives of the children and families who are supported by Bristol children’s hospital.”

Head of Thrings’ Bristol office, Colin Stratton, who spearheaded the firm’s cycling team in 2016, said: “This year’s ride to Paris was a huge success for everyone involved, with cyclists overcoming huge personal challenges and demonstrating an unwavering desire to support patients, families and the hospital’s amazing staff.

“We hope the 2017 team enjoys this remarkable and memorable experience as much as we did, and spurred on by a bit of healthy competition, raises as much money as possible for what is a wonderful cause.”

Cressida Prout, Corporate Partnerships and Community Fundraising Manager at Above & Beyond, added: “The support of Thrings over the past two years has been outstanding. Their dedication to fundraising for the patients, families and staff of Bristol city centre hospitals has been brilliant, especially as they are looking to match, if not beat, the £25,000 raised by the team in 2016.

“The firm has a number of fundraising events planned for the new year, and we would encourage everyone to get involved and show their support. We wish them all the very best of luck and will be cheering them on every step of the way.”

To find out more information about the Above & Beyond Bristol to Paris Challenge or to make a donation to Team Thrings, please click here.

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