Bowmore Bulletin: Your latest update from the Bowmore team

two male cyclists on road with trees

After last month’s food donation efforts, Christmas jumper-wearing for Gympanzees and the introduction of our “Give and Take” annual leave policy, the Bowmore team are back with more charitable giving updates for February 2022.

This month, we’ve got a very exciting announcement: two of our team, Mark Millet and Duncan Harvey, are embarking on a charity cycle ride this summer in support of Children’s Hospice South West.

But first, congratulations to Adam Canavan, who got engaged over Christmas.

Love is in the air

Who’s the lucky person and how did you meet?

Her name is Rachel. Rachel had just moved from New York to London for work and her office was down the street from mine. One evening we happened to be in the same pub and at the bar at the same time, and things went from there.

How did you pop the question?

Rachel is from Northern Ireland, so I thought it would be nice to propose while we were over there. So, I booked out the private dining room at the Merchant Hotel and then used their planning people to decorate the whole area, including using photos of us!

On the evening of 30 December, I told Rachel that I had a dinner reservation and we needed to be ready for 7pm. It worked out really well as Rachel was totally unaware until the doors opened on the private room and she saw what I had planned.

When do you hope to tie the knot and what are you looking forward to the most?

We are looking at early 2023 and had a few venue viewings last weekend. We are looking forward to having everyone together to celebrate such a happy moment in our lives.

Ride for Precious Lives 2022

Mark and Duncan are already training for the ride of a lifetime, as they prepare for their charity cycle ride in support of Children’s Hospice South West.

The 215-mile Ride for Precious Lives 2022 will begin at Charlton Farm, Bristol on 8 July, finishing at Little Harbour, St Austell on 10 July, with all money raised going to Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

Mark and Duncan will be cycling through the Somerset, Devon and Cornwall countryside for a very special cause and we’d love for you to get involved.

About Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW)

Children’s Hospice South West have three hospices in North Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. They support more than 500 families across the south-west by caring for children with life-limiting conditions, providing respite, end-of-life care, emergency care and bereavement support.

Our local hospice, Charlton Farm in North Somerset, supports more than 230 families in the Bristol and Bath area who are going through the most unimaginable of times.

It costs almost £4 million each year to run Charlton Farm; what’s more, they only receive an average of 16% of this sum from the government. This means they rely heavily on donations and voluntary support. In 2021, CHSW celebrated 30 years of helping sick children and their families.

Show your support for Mark and Duncan and give to a great cause with a donation to CHSW via our JustGiving page.

Hear from Mark and Duncan

As Mark and Duncan get ready for the ride of a lifetime, read how they’re getting on with training, as well as how they are personally connected with this incredible cause.

How Mark got involved with the Ride for Precious Lives

“Being a slightly portly cyclist, I was approached by one of my fellow weekend riders to take part in a sponsored cycle ride.

“Mark Paxford has done this ride four times before, in memory of his late daughter, Emily, who was one of my daughter’s classmates at school. I recall the support and help that Children’s Hospice South West gave Emily and her family, Mark, Christine and George.

“I asked some colleagues who I know enjoy cycling if they would like to take part – and I’m delighted to say that Duncan was keen from the start.

“I’ve since found out that Duncan is an old hand at cycling, having completed the Bristol to Scotland ride in the past. He cycles most days to work, so I have my work cut out to keep up with him!

“Training-wise, I am using my weekends to build up the miles and last weekend completed a 30-miler and 10-miler. I am also using an indoor turbo trainer to do some small riding segments when it’s just too rainy and cold.

“So far, I have had a fantastic response from clients with some generous sponsorship at this early stage.

“Rest assured, I will be updating everyone on the trials and tribulations as we go.”

A Q&A with Duncan Harvey

What inspired you to do a charity bike ride?

My friend’s daughter died from Mitochondrial disease in 2020, when she was just three years old. They were assisted by a charity providing respite and palliative care; seeing what they went through and the support that charities such as Children’s Hospice South West provide was a real motivator.

Have you done anything like this before?

Yes, I did an unsupported ride from Bristol to Edinburgh in 2019.

What training and preparation will you need to do for the charity bike ride, and when will you start?

My round-trip to work is 15 miles and I do this most days, which gives me a bit of a head start as I have been doing it for a couple of years.

I need to up my cardio, though, so I am going to start running too, starting with two 5k runs a week from February.

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I’m not really built for running – my rugby coach used to tell me that I ran “like a pork pie” so it’s going to be tough getting into it!

How competitive are things between you and Mark?

Nothing competitive yet, but we’ll see as we get closer to the date. I am sure we’ll support each other along the way.

Words of thanks from Amanda, corporate partnerships fundraiser with CHSW

“We’re delighted that Mark and Duncan are taking on our Ride for Precious Lives Challenge in 2022. They have a great team behind them at Bowmore Financial Planning and their fundraising and support will make a real difference to children with life-limiting conditions.

“Our care teams have had to adapt to ensure Covid-safe support wherever and whenever families need it most, including in our three children’s hospices, and for the first time ever, in the families’ own homes.

“They have been amazing, working in such different ways and in difficult circumstances, but we can only continue to do this work thanks to such wonderful support from individuals and businesses like Bowmore Financial Planning.”

How you can help

If you’ve been inspired by Mark and Duncan and the Ride for Precious Lives 2022, you can offer your support by donating to Children’s Hospice South West. Your donation will help provide invaluable support to families going through unimaginable circumstances in these ever-trying times.

You can donate securely via JustGiving or scan the QR code to access our donations page.