Mark’s Ride 4 Respite

I want to ask for your help to fund 10 short breaks, for some extraordinary people in 2021, the year of Leuchie’s 10th birthday.

As we all know, Scotland has world beating scenery, culture and products. Sadly, we also have one of the world's highest incidences of neurological conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, which leads to gradual loss of use of all muscles. First to go are the big ones, like the legs. Some will eventually lose the muscles required to talk and swallow. There is no cure.

Typically, the condition is diagnosed in people's late 40's or early 50's, just when most people are mortgaged to the hilt, bringing up children and working all hours; partners and children change from being lovers to carers. Independent hard working people can become very dependent on others.

Despite this, the resilience of people living with a neurological condition and their families is AMAZING. Working at LeuchieHouse for the last couple of years, I have personally gained great strength, energy and determination from the inspirational, undaunted people who come to Leuchie to give their loved one's an essential respite break from their care. Leuchie has been as good for me as I hope it has for the guests who enjoy coming here.

In 2021, my 50th year, I want to give a bit back and celebrate Leuchie’s 10th anniversary by raising funds to pay for 10 short breaks for people who can’t afford this. In a year when we could all do with a break, some really do need one more than others.

The cost of delivering a break at Leuchie is high because of the high level of qualified staffing, medical expertise and equipment we require. And I make no apology for doing all that we can to make a break at Leuchie every bit as good and dignified experience as possible for the guests. Even with this Leuchie still has to fundraise £1M a year to subsidise half of the cost of every break here.

Not everyone who desperately needs what Leuchie is delighted to provide can afford to come and so my personal challenge is a way for me to highlight the issue and raising funds for those who simply can’t afford to ever get a break.

This is necessary because there is no legal right to respite care despite its obvious and acknowledged benefits to the whole family. Funding is therefore a bit of a postcode lottery. Some get it and some don’t. So, in addition to fundraising I want Leuchie to work with others and government to see if that situation can be changed. It was great to see the evidence and aspirations we gathered from Leuchie’s guests and others reflected in the recommendations of the recently published Independent Review of Adult Social Care. The recommendations included giving a legislative right to respite, something we called for, along with a right to access enabling technology.

If you have been able to save a bit of money on childcare, annual holiday or even on your commute during lockdown perhaps you would like to help someone who may be in desperate need of a break by sponsoring my challenge.

I will be riding over 500 miles around the North of Scotland, where there is the highest incidence of MS in Europe. The generous team at Jebra Campervans have very kindly donated one of their vans to the challenge to be used as my support vehicle for the week. I will cover all other costs of my Ride4Respite challenge, which will take place over a week from the 29th April, so every donatation will go directly to Leuchie. I will give talks along the route, write daily blogs and meet MSP’s, who may or may not be more formidable than the legend which is the Bealach na' ba, Scotland’s steepest road and always in the world’s top 10 hill climbs.

Mark’s Ride 4 Respite

Why not take on your own Ride4Respite challenge? Whether on a bike, scooter or wheelchair, can your family, friends and colleagues support you with £4 to go 4, 40 or 400 miles for Leuchie House? For more information and to join the team CLICK HERE.

You can complete your challenge anytime from now until the 4th of July which is Leuchie’s official Birthday.

Thanks for reading and hope you can help...


Thank you to our supporters

Mark’s Ride 4 Respite