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Highland Council Can Get On Their Bike For Hospice!

21st February 2010

Photograph of Highland Council Can Get On Their Bike For Hospice!

Councillors Bill Fernie, Chair of the Education Culture and Sport Committee and David Henderson, Councillor for Inverness Ness Side respectively along with the Council's Youth Convener Magnus Monahan and Danny Alexander, MP for Inverness, Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey ditched their shirt and ties for cycling gear. They were be at the Inverness Leisure Centre to launch the re-developed Black Isle Cycle Challenge in aid of Highland Hospice.

The Black Isle Cycle Challenge (previously Black Isle Cycle Ride) has been re-developed this year to offer participants a bit more of a challenge. The three routes on offer to those who register will this year, for the first time, include off-road sections through forest trails. In order to promote the launch of the revitalised event, three local political personalities have committed to riding the Inverness Leisure Centre spinning bike machines, representing the three new routes.

Councillor Bill Fernie was pleased to be able to lend his support to the event: "We all appreciate that at some stage we will know someone who will need to use the services provided by the Hospice, it's a fantastic organisation with a great reputation and I'm delighted to lend my support to this event."

Matthew Middler, a graduate intern at Highland Hospice tasked with rejuvenating the event, said "this year's event is going to be a completely new challenge to those who have taken part in the past and a great opportunity for those who have never been involved. This year I hope to break records and get 500 participants involved - raising significantly more funds. In my short time at Highland Hospice I have come to realise that the organisation is close to everyone's hearts here in the Highlands."

The Black Isle Cycle Challenge will take place on Saturday 24th April this year. Registration is free and participants are encouraged to raise personal sponsorship in aid of Highland Hospice. You can register by calling the Hospice on (01463) 227 903 or fill out the online form at The event is sponsored by Ord Industrial and Commercial Supplies Ltd.

Highland Hospice is the only hospice serving adults with incurable life limiting disease in the Highlands of Scotland and is acknowledged as the centre of specialist palliative care expertise in the region. A full multidisciplinary team is employed to provide true holistic care and comprises medical and nursing staff, occupational, physio and complementary therapists, a chaplain and family support workers. The Hospice currently provides a 10 bed In Patient Unit in Inverness and a Day Hospice on the same site, a newly developed Outreach Team is now in place to take Day Hospice services to outlying areas. Medical staff, working closely with NHS colleagues, provide a consultancy service within Raigmore and community hospitals as well as visiting patients at home throughout the Highlands.

The Hospice also provides bereavement counselling for relatives, a 24 hour telephone helpline and education and training for other healthcare professionals to enhance their ability to provide palliative care in their own communities.

While the majority of the referred patients have cancer, the Hospice services are open to those with other incurable life-limiting diseases including, for example, lung, kidney or heart disease and neurological conditions.

The area covered by the Hospice stretches from Dalwhinnie in the south, east to Forres, west to Ardnamurchan, Lochalsh and Skye and north to John O'Groats and Cape Wrath. This area is 10,000 square miles. Highland Hospice relies on the generosity of the Highland community to raise the more than 42,000 that is required every week to keep the services going and to ensure that an exceptional quality of care continues to be provided.

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