Main Supported Charities
The main supported charities, who receive 50% of the amount raised in the both of the challenges, are the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
In 2017, both charities received just under £40,000 each. Both charities responded to these donations with fulsome praise and thanks to Challenge Adventure Charities participants from the summer Challenge and team Challenge alike.
Cancer UK wrote:
“A huge thank you from Cancer Research UK to all the participants of the 2017 Challenges who have raised an incredible £40,000 towards our life saving work. We really appreciate all the training, cycling and fundraising, which went into raising these funds. We receive no government funding for our research, so it is only through the generosity of supporters like you that we are able to fund new discoveries and improve cancer survival rates.
We are going to put some of the £40,000 towards the ongoing development of The Francis Crick Institute, which opened in 2015. The Francis Crick Institute is one of the most significant developments in UK biomedical science for a generation. It is the place where many of the future ways to prevent and treat cancer and other major diseases will be discovered. By bringing together world-class physicists, biologists, chemists and engineers, and creating a unique environment where collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas is inevitable and encouraged, we will see a rapid increase in the speed with which new life-saving discoveries are made.
We will put the rest of the money raised towards our work into personalised medicine. Personalised medicine will allow patients to be matched to the treatment that will work best for them. Instead of classifying tumours based on where they grow in the body, doctors are now starting to classify tumours according to their genetic make-up.
Choosing cancer treatments based on the genetic characteristics of an individual and their cancer means that patients will receive the treatment that will deliver the best possible outcome. It can also prevent the patient from enduring several different treatments before the most effective one is found, resulting in less time in hospital, fewer side effects and a better quality of life.”
The British Heart Foundation responded thus:
“I was delighted to hear about the wonderful donation of £38,678.79 from Challenge Adventure Charities in 2017. This brings your total support for the British Heart Foundation to over £400,000. This is a staggering contribution towards our fight against heart disease and on behalf of everyone at the BHF, I would like to pass on our sincere thanks.
In the last three months alone, we have funded 49 new life-saving research projects across the UK. One of the most exciting research projects we’re funding in Spring 2018 is run by Professor David Beech at the University of Leeds. Unlike your committed cyclists, too few of us in the UK achieve the recommended level of physical activity to protect our heart. This is a complex problem, and addressing it requires a wide range of solutions. We know that exercise protects and improves our arteries and heart health, but we know surprisingly little about what happens inside the cells of our body to give this protective effect. In 2014 Professor Beech and his team in Leeds discovered that a protein called Piezo1, present in the cells that line our arteries, is a blood flow sensor. They think Piezo1 might detect our blood flow, and ‘switch on’ the exercise response to protect against artery disease. Using cutting-edge microscopy and biochemical techniques, the team will study how Piezo1 detects increased blood flow during exercise, and how this affects artery and heart health. They will then see if, by generating new chemicals which control Piezo1, they can increase the health gains from exercise.
Over the years that Challenge Adventure Charities has been supporting us, and only because of such support, we’ve been able to develop a host of pioneering and innovative discoveries like this to aid our fight against heart disease. And so with your continued fundraising support for the BHF - and the extraordinary commitment of your riders and the generosity of their sponsors - you really are helping to end the heartbreak of heart disease.
Congratulations to you all and let me add my personal thanks for your commitment and hard work. With very best wishes for 2018 and your exciting challenges ahead.”
Donna Spriggs Elliott
Head of Community Fundraising
British Heart Foundation
2018 Supported Charities