Rookie cyclist gives up birthday presents to help hospice patients
Kind-hearted Raveesha Fernando asked for donations for a hospice instead of birthday presents last week as she geared up for her first-ever charity cycle ride.
Raveesha, who turned 24 on July 18th, will be cycling 46 miles from east London on July 29th – even though she has barely ridden a bicycle before in her life.
She will be taking part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 with her best friend Shruti Ahuja, also 24.
Both will be collecting sponsorship for The South Bucks Community Hospice, based at Butterfly House in High Wycombe.
Raveesha, an architectural assistant whose family is from High Wycombe, said: “I am extremely nervous because I have hardly ever ridden a bike properly before and I have never done a charity ride – and here I am cycling a whole 46 miles.”
She chose the hospice as her charity of choice after discussing it with her family.
She said: “I used to live in High Wycombe and we used to drive past it. What they do and stand for is amazing. They are a small local charity and we have heard a lot of people talk about them. I think it is so important to do this to give them awareness. A lot of local people are starting to donate and realise the hospice is doing so much for people in the area.”
The duo hope to raise a minimum of £500 – and Raveesha’s birthday gesture and other donations from Shruti’s friends have already brought in £200.
“There is no point in getting birthday presents when I have everything I need, so I thought it would be better if people gave me donations for the hospice. Some people have been really generous and it’s been lovely,” she said.
Best friend Shruti, from Great Missenden, is a design sales assistant for a kitchen company in Bucks.
Compared to Raveesha, she is a veteran cyclist, and has already completed the Prudential 46-mile ride twice previously in aid of other charities. She has vowed to stick with Raveesha on the gruelling route which should take around four hours to complete.
“I have done this event for the last two years. It’s a challenge for myself and it is a really good opportunity to fundraise for a charity. We both think the work the hospice does is incredible,” she said.
Shruti added: “It was so typical of Raveesha to be unselfish and think of others on her birthday. It’s her first cycle ride – she is a bit nervous because she hasn’t cycled before, but she is really motivated for the cause.”
Raveesha, in turn, paid tribute to her friend, saying: “Shruti has always been my inspiration to raise money for charity especially after seeing her ride in India. She is also the main reason we are doing the cycle and we both agreed before we turn 25 that we will do something for charity together. So this was all her idea.”
Ben O’Keefe, Community Fundraiser for the hospice, said: “We are really touched by the generosity shown here, and any funds raised will be of great benefit to patients with life-limiting conditions.”
To contribute, go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ravinshruti