National charity Horatio’s Garden is urging hand cyclists to sign up for the 2018 Chalke Valley Cycle Ride, which takes place on Sunday the 23rdof September in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Horatio’s Garden creates and cares for beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres, and this event will raise funds to help with the ongoing maintenance costs of the very first garden that was built at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury Hospital.

This year, Horatio’s Garden are hoping to attract more hand cyclists to join the event to help highlight the sporting and recreational activities that can be available for patients to try when they leave spinal injury units and progress their rehabilitation.

Horatio’s Garden Head of Events Annabel Ward comments:

“We are really hoping to see hand cyclists taking part in the ride this year – Horatio’s Garden is totally inclusive and supportive of anyone taking part, and we want to celebrate diversity in the sport of cycling!”

Entry for the ride is £35.00, all of which will go directly to Horatio’s Garden, and this fun day out starts with a warm welcome at the hospital and ends with a BBQ, tea and cake back at the garden – it’s just the bit in the middle that requires some exertion! All abilities are welcome, as are young people between the ages of 12 and 16 provided they are accompanied by an adult.

The Chalke Valley Cycle Ride winds through stunning Wiltshire countryside entirely on tarmac roads, and cyclists, including those using hand bikes, can choose from a choice of 18, 25 or 45-mile routes, all of which feature some hill work. For those who truly want to fly the charity’s flag during their cycle, Horatio’s Garden bespoke cycle shirts are available, or perhaps join together with friends and develop you own ‘team kit’.

There will be basic mechanical back-up and first aid support for riders on the day, and water, soft drink and snack stations on the routes to keep energy levels and spirits high. If you would like to get involved to support Horatio’s Garden but don’t fancy taking part in the cycle ride, the charity is on the lookout for plenty volunteers to help with various aspect of the day – just drop them a line.

Last year’s Chalke Valley Cycle Ride saw 145 cyclists take to the road, raising an incredible £5,000 between them, and this year Horatio’s Garden are determined to do even better.

Lucy Futter, Head of Communications for Horatio’s Garden, said:

“The Chalke Valley Cycle Ride is a wonderful event that not only raises all-important funds to support the ongoing work of Horatio’s Garden Salisbury, but also our wonderful supporters out in the fresh air and taking in the beautiful countryside in the local area. We’re really hoping to welcome lots of keen cyclists and hand cyclists to Horatio’s Garden this autumn and raise as much as possible towards the £35,000 it costs to maintain the garden every year.”

To sign up for the Chalke Valley Cycle Ride 2018 please visit:

The Horatio’s Garden Chalke Valley Cycle Ride

The route for this one-day ride takes in the stunning Chalke Valley to the South West of Salisbury through the AONB of the Cranborne Chase. There are three options: 45 miles, 25 and 18 miles. All routes share the first 8 miles together, and the ride starts from Horatio’s Garden at Salisbury District Hospital SP2 8BJ.

Entry to the Chalke Valley Cycle Ride costs £35.00 per person, and riders must provide their own bicycle/ hand bike. Helmets must be worn at all times and Horatio’s Garden advises that participants dress according to the weather forecast.

Registration will be from 9am in the garden and a full briefing at 9.30am. The ride starts at 10am.

About Horatio’s Garden 

Horatio’s Garden is a charity that creates and cares for beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. Leading garden designers develop the stunning sanctuaries for patients and their family and friends, creating an environment that becomes an integral part of their lives and care whilst spending many months in hospital.

Once the gardens have been built the charity organises activities in the garden for patients including garden therapy, art therapy, artists in residence, tea and cakes, food events and music concerts.

The charity’s volunteer team, led by a head gardener, keep the garden looking beautiful, help run activities for patients and contribute to the happy, uplifting atmosphere which permeates Horatio’s Garden. Some volunteers have spinal injuries and young people can join as a ‘Volunteen’.

The charity is named after Horatio Chapple – a schoolboy who wanted to be a doctor and volunteered at the spinal centre in Salisbury. It was Horatio’s idea to create a garden and his research has shaped the garden designs and the charity’s aims.

Horatio’s life was cut short at 17 when his camp was attacked by a polar bear while on expedition in Svalbard in 2011 but his legacy continues to help patients and their families with the long process of learning to live with a spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injuries are catastrophic, life-changing events. Patients often have little or no access to the outside world during their hospital stay yet research shows that at times of stress, being outside with nature contributes to a feeling of wellbeing.

The first Horatio’s Garden opened in 2012 at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment at Salisbury Hospital and was designed by award-winner, Cleve West.

The second Horatio’s Garden at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit, Glasgow was completed in August 2016. Designed by James Alexander-Sinclair, it opened in summer 2016 and cares for patients from across Scotland.

Stoke Mandeville is the third project for the charity and building work is well underway, with the garden due for completion in August 2018.

The charity is now running capital appeals for The Midlands Spinal Injury Centre at Oswestry, which has been designed by Bunny Guinness, and The London Spinal Cord Injury Centre at Stanmore being designed by Tom Stuart-Smith.