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Gloucestershire Business News

Stepdaughter's care career inspired 82 year old to get back in the saddle

A Gloucester great grandad has a new hobby and is raising funds for charity following the loss of his wife, after being inspired by his care provider stepdaughter.

Despite not having been on a bike in over 30 years, 82 year old Norman Scantlebury, from Brockworth, got cycling again with encouragement from step daughter, Kila Lea, 50, also from Gloucester, following the death of his wife.

Much loved Evelyn Scantlebury , Norman's wife and Kila's mother, died two years ago. She was cared for by the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice at Home team, which Kila is part of.

Norman said, "When my wife passed away the care she was given in her final month at home was amazing. Towards the end she could barely smile but when the Sue Ryder nurses came in we could hear her laughing and she rallied. It was so lovely.

"I can remember how proud Evelyn and I both were when Kila told us she had got a job in the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice at Home team. Evelyn thought it was wonderful Kila was working for Sue Ryder".

Kila said: "I felt so humbled to see the team I was part of giving such wonderful care to mum. They made a huge difference to us. I was worried about Norman after mum passed away. He had been mum's carer for so long, and being a full time carer you don't have time for you. Norman's fitness dipped and he looked really tired and ill. He started to have a few falls when he was out and about too."

"Norman had an exercise bike at home so I suggested he build up his legs by going on that, which he started to do. As a keen cyclist myself I would often share cycling stories and photos with Norman when we got together. One day I said you should get a road bike and come out with me. One suggestion was all it took.

"We got Norman a bike and we were out for our first training ride soon after, which was a bit heart in the mouth as I think he fell off about three times. Let's just say I got a few new grey hairs in the process! I can't get Norman off his bike now. He is going out on his bike more than me."

Norman added, "After Evelyn passed away it would have been easy for me to sit down in my chair and watch TV all day but I knew I had to do something. The first few times going out on the bike was scary but I soon got the hang of it. I started cycling in May 2017 and in June 2017 I did my first cycling event, biking 35km in the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice Ride for Ryder Sportive. I raised £400 in thanks for the wonderful care given to my wife and for the super care given my Kila and the team she works in."

Norman is entering Ride for Ryder again this year on Sunday 24th June, cycling 40km and hoping to raise £500. The hospice team have reserved the number '82' competitor number especially for Norman to wear. Kila hopes to join the ride on the day too.

Kila said, "Norman is an inspiration for others. He is an absolute legend. He is showing everyone that as you get older you can still get out there and do new things and enjoy yourself. He teaches me that life is for living."

"Norman has been my dad for 30 years and if anything since mum died our relationship has grown stronger. I think mum would be pleased to see how much Norman is here for me and I am here for him. We're here for each other."

To donate to Norman's Ride for Ryder challenge visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/normanscantlebury 

To join Norman on the Ride for Ryder Sportive sign up online before midnight 18th June at www.sueryder.org/rideforryder30 

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