Coleg Gwent goes the extra mile to support hospice

COLEG Gwent faculty director Ian Millward led from the front when he saddled up and cycled the extra mile to support St David’s Hospice Care.

Academic and Enterprise Studies Director, Ian pedalled from the crack of dawn to twilight starting from his home and visiting all five Coleg Gwent campuses in a single day covering a mammoth 200-plus miles.

The ride, which saw keen cyclist Ian visit the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone before heading to Crosskeys, Newport, Cwmbran and Usk, was part of the Coleg Gwent’s Go the Extra Mile Day in support of their charity of the year, Newport-based St David’s Hospice Care.

Ian, who was accompanied on sections of the gruelling ride by college staff cyclists, said: “It turned out to be an epic journey not just for me and my fellow cyclists but also those other staff and learners who took part in a whole range of fund raising-activities on the day in support of the hospice.

“I have never before travelled that far on a bicycle in a single day so It was quite a challenge which started at 5.30 am and finished at around 8pm.”

Learners, teaching staff and supporters took part in a range of activities during the day at the five campuses which included everything from danceathons to spin classes, walks to cross training sessions and rugby sessions.

The total distance covered during the day by various individuals and groups completing a range of activities was an impressive 4,600 miles raising thousands of pounds for the hospice along the way.

Tania Ansell, of St David’s Hospice Care who took part in some of the events at the recently opened Torfaen Learning Zone in Cwmbran, said: “I can tell from personal experience on the day that Coleg Gwent staff and learners put their heart and souls into the activities in support of the hospice.

“We are very grateful to them all for their tremendous efforts to raise funds in support of the hospice and for Coleg Gwent naming us as their charity of the year, at this very challenging time in our long history.

“On behalf of all the patients and staff at St David’s Hospice Care, thank you everyone! Ian’s achievement is amazing, well done on completing the 200-mile challenge. We have been truly humbled and bowled over by your enthusiasm and passion for raising money for the hospice and going the #ExtraMile.

“We can provide our dedicated service throughout our community at no cost to the patients because of what you at Coleg Gwent and others like you are doing! We are so proud of you all. Take a bow Coleg Gwent!”

St David’s Hospice Care offers palliative and end of life care to patients and their families facing the most difficult time of their lives.

The hospice needs £8.5m a year to run its range of services including its inpatient hospice and day hospices. The hospice funds 70% of its clinical services through its events and its shops.

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Here are some of the fantastic achievements of students and staff who took part n the Extra Mile challenge:

Lecturer Lisette Edwards swam 110 lengths, covering a distance of 1.7 miles in just one hour

Crosskeys A Level PE students ran 3 miles

Torfaen Learning Zone Business learners walked 6.2 miles

Fastest mile challenge – on the bike, treadmill, skier and rowing machine – at Crosskeys Campus and Torfaen Learning Zone, supported by Simply Gym Cwmbran

Crosskeys Sports students and staff took part in the ‘Miles per Man’ challenge

BTEC Business Students at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone did a 4.5-mile sponsored walk

Level 2 Fitness learners at Usk Campus took part in spin sessions led by Part-time Gym Instructor learner, Zoe Jennings, who recently lost an inspirational 12 stone

Head of School Helen Morgan cycled 100 miles

Staff members Rhiannon and Stacey completed a 10-mile run

Sports Lecturer, Joel Morgan, from Usk Campus cycled 30 miles

The Welsh Bilingualism Department covered 35 miles between them

Learning Coach David Morgan cycled 120 miles on the stationary bike at Usk Campus

Jess Pike, Employer Engagement Advisor, walked 28 miles along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in 8 hours 48 minutes

The Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone team cycled 70 miles, finishing just after midnight

Dan Coles, Director of External Engagement, ran 8.5 miles around Risca Leisure Centre

Layla Pearce, Faculty Improvement Lead, walked 10 miles with learners from Crosskeys campus, finishing off with an indoor bike session

The External Engagement Team conquered Sugar Loaf Mountain

There were a series of outdoor games and a Dance-athon at Torfaen Learning Zone

Crosskeys Campus Motor Vehicle staff tackled all three of the local peaks on foot

Vice Principal Nicola Gamlin took time out of her annual leave to walk 6 miles around Windsor Castle

Vice Principal Lynda Astell hopped on her bike in support of the charity

Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone – 205 miles were covered at our Ebbw Vale Campus

Crosskeys Campus – over 100 students and staff covered 417 miles by walking, running, cycling and rowing

Torfaen Learning Zone – with almost 2 million steps and an equivalent distance of the circumference of Wales, Torfaen Learning Zone covered an incredible 1128.74 miles

Usk Campus – students and staff achieved a huge 1005.29 miles between them