Co-worker charity cyclists team up to remember Harpenden friend

Connect Plus cycling team outside The Hospice of St Francis

Connect Plus cycling team outside The Hospice of St Francis - Credit: Archant

A team of 30 colleagues cycled from Germany to France, via Luxembourg and Belgium, to remember their “office Godmother” from Harpenden.

Barbara Grey is sitting on the left

Barbara Grey is sitting on the left - Credit: Archant

Barbara Gray worked at a highways maintenance company for ten years before she passed away in 2016 from uterine cancer - her co-workers described her as a “special lady” with an “amazing sense of humour”, and always “happy and bubbly”.

To celebrate her memory the riders are donating money from their fifth annual 330-mile charity cycle ride to The Hospice of St Francis.

The route is from Colone to Lille, and took place over the bank holiday weekend.

Colleague Chris Richardson, 41, from Aston Clinton, said: “Barbara was always fun to work with. She had an amazing sense of humour, coupled with a good dose of sarcasm, and kept all the recent recruits on their toes.”

John Cass, 40, from St Albans, said: “My main memory of Barbara was that she was so happy and bubbly. She also had a great wealth of stories about our boss Tim which she used, with humour, to embarrass him at various company occasions.”

The team are training every Tuesday in preparation for the big cycle.

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Chief executive of Connect Plus, Tim Jones, said Barbara was instrumental to the company: “As a group, we wanted to cycle to raise money in Barbara’s memory and what better charity than one that cared for her in her last weeks.

“This will be our fifth charity cycle ride and we’re hoping to beat previous years’ fundraising totals of £16,000 through the generosity of our suppliers, friends and families.”

The cycling group is made up of 24 Connect Plus employees and six support staff from other companies who also work on the M25, including Highways England.

Barbara’s son, Kevin Gray, said it is a worthy cause: “Mum experienced wonderful care at the hospice.

“She was admitted for respite care initially which helped give her strength so she was able to come home, where she wanted to be.”

Corporate fundraising manager at the hospice, Carolyn Addison, wished them luck: “It’s a great example of a local company giving something back to an organisation that has benefitted one of its own.”

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