Lockdown inspires St Albans man to take on fundraising challenge in memory of his best friend

Bevan Clark will be cycling for Rennie Grove Hospice in memory of his good friend Steve.

Bevan Clark will be cycling for Rennie Grove Hospice in memory of his good friend Steve. - Credit: Archant

When lockdown began, St Albans resident Bevan Clark decided to dust off his bike and take up cycling again after a 30 year break. Not content with just pedalling to the local park for his daily exercise though, Bevan has now decided to take on the fundraising challenge of a lifetime in memory of his best friend.

Bevan Clark (left) and best friend Steve Russell (right).

Bevan Clark (left) and best friend Steve Russell (right). - Credit: Archant

Bevan has challenged himself to cycle the 1,500km from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise £50,000 for local hospice charity Rennie Grove, who cared for his best friend and keen cyclist, Steve Russell, who sadly died from cancer in August 2019.

Bevan experienced first-hand how the Rennie Grove nurses played a vital role to support Steve and his family during his last eight days. Steve was able to die peacefully at home thanks to Rennie Grove’s hospice at home nurses.

Husband and father-of-two Bevan wanted to do something to pay back the kindness provided and support the important work of the charity’s nurses.

Bevan said: “I just knew I needed to do something to help the charity. I thought if I was going to do anything, I would do something massive.”

Not only is he riding in Steve’s memory, but Bevan will take on the challenge on Steve’s bike.

Jane Russell, Steve’s wife, is extremely supportive of Bevan’s epic fundraiser: “It’s great that Bevan is able to take Steve, or at least a big part of Steve’s hobby as a keen triathlete, with him on his challenge. He would have been very proud.”

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Bevan’s challenge will start on August 28, marking the first anniversary of Steve’s passing and he hopes to complete the journey in 10 days. As it would have been Steve’s 50th birthday this year, Bevan has set a fundraising target of £50,000.

After Steve’s death, family and friends raised over £13,000 in his memory through the charity’s in memory website - Forever Loved Fund - an online space to remember loved ones through sharing pictures, lighting virtual candles and raising funds. If you would like to set up a Forever Loved Fund page in memory of a loved one visit renniegrove.org/foreverloved.

You can support Bevan with his fundraising challenge by visiting: bit.ly/BevsBigCharityRide and follow his journey at facebook.com/bevsbigcharityride.