The chairman of Southport-based medical negligence and serious injury solicitors, Fletchers Solicitors, has completed a gruelling charity cycling challenge, which saw him cover over 700 miles to finish at the top of Mont Ventoux – one of the legendary mountains climbed in the Tour De France.

Rob Fletcher, 60, started the seven day challenge on the 19 June 2014 and travelled across France, to raise vital funds for The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Appeal.

He was joined by Walton Centre Neurologist Nick Fletcher and Neurosurgeon Andrew Brodbelt, as well as Southport resident Richard Neve who works for Bolton based medical legal report provider Premex Services.

Averaging around 110 miles per day, the team rode through Dijon and the Rhône Valley before they took on Tour de France’s most notorious mountain, Mont Ventoux, which is 6,273ft. Rob and the team took the Bèdoin route up the mountain, which is deemed the most difficult course ascension.

Rob Fletcher said: “The whole event was, as I am sure it was for all involved, one of the most memorable events of our lives. From the huge corn fields of the north to the enormous vineyards of the south, seeing a country unfold at around 15mph has to be by far the best way of experiencing a territory.

“Although I have cycled in Europe before I have never experienced anything like Mont Ventoux. As a climb it is completely unremitting, pushing you hard all the way up with absolutely no place to rest. I think we all felt slightly overwhelmed when we reached the top. It was difficult not to feel emotional having completed the climb as this was the culmination of all the effort everyone associated with the ride had put in, both in organising, training and so on.

“Overall, it was great to be part of such a brilliant team effort to raise money for such a worthy cause. It looks like we are well on our way to achieving our set fundraising target, which is fantastic.

Rob set a personal target to raise £5,000 for the charity, which he has already beat, with the group setting a total target of £50,000 for the Walton Centre.

The Walton Centre in Liverpool is the only specialist NHS unit for neurosciences in the UK. Its specialisms lie in diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses that affect the brain, spine and peripheral nerves and muscles. The Centre also aids patients who suffer from long-term illnesses caused by neurological disorders. The majority of its patients come from the Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire areas, but it also provides specialist treatment and complex disorders from patients across the UK.

The ‘Home from Home’ appeal aims to raise £1million by the end of 2014 to provide eight ensuite bedrooms enabling families of patients receiving care to stay at the facility, as many family members are currently sleeping in chairs in visitor rooms. Some of the money raised will also aid the development of therapy gardens and gym equipment for the patients.

To donate, please visit his JustGiving page.

If you wish to get involved in the ‘Home from Home’ appeal or would like more information, you can contact Kevin Byrne, Fundraiser, on 01515295612 or by emailing fundraising@thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk or visit www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk

Pictured above is Rob (second left) with the team

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