Q&A: Suzi Best – Above & Beyond Volunteer Having previously worked for the NHS, Suzi Best became a volunteer with us in 2015 so she could continue helping our hospitals. Not only does she volunteer her time in the Fundraising Hub twice a week, support charity events and lend her baking skills to the myriad bake sales that we hold, but she also takes on challenges to actively fundraise for Above & Beyond. So, we weren’t at all surprised when she turned up to the office one day saying that she was going to sign up for the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge 2018! We spoke to her about her reasons for signing up: Why have you decided to take on the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge 2018? When I first joined the charity as a volunteer there was a lot of chatter going on about the final signings for the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge. The following May I was at College Green to help make the start of the challenge as smooth as possible and this year I saw the riders off from Ashton Gate. On both occasions the atmosphere was one of nervous excitement and pride in representing such a worthwhile cause. I like to have a challenge to focus on each year and what could be better than helping the charity that I am passionate about and keeping fit. What are your expectations for the ride? I‘ve heard many stories both pre and post Bristol to Paris so I’m more than aware of the challenge that I’ve taken on. It’s nice to know that the people taking part are of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities and the moment I set eyes on the Eiffel Tower will be one of great relief as well as a feeling of achievement and pride. Have you done any other charity challenges? I’ve taken part in many challenges for charity throughout my life. Up until now it has mostly been running marathon, half marathon and 10K races – I took part in Bristol 10K for Above & Beyond in 2016. I’ve also done a Moon Walk through London and a Ribbon Walk in Sussex for breast cancer charities. In June of this year a bunch of us from Above & Beyond did the Three Peak Challenge which was one of the hardest things I have ever done. How do you plan on reaching the £1,700 fundraising total? I'm not going to lie, the fundraising can initially seem quite daunting. But, I’m planning lots of cake sales, car boot sales, a quiz night, clothes swap parties and bag packing at supermarkets. My family and friends will be dipping into their pockets and purses once again! The fundraising is all part of the challenge and I am slowly getting cheekier about approaching people and companies for their contributions! What would you say to people thinking about signing up to Bristol to Paris? We all need to have a focus in our lives, one that stretches us both mentally and physically, so what could be better than Bristol to Paris. You have to do it to feel it, so sign up now and I promise that you will not be disappointed. Have you started training or getting your gear together yet? I‘ve been getting my road confidence up by riding my hybrid to the gym and around Bristol and I’ve also done the Bristol to Bath cycle path. I’ll start training in earnest when I‘ve bought a decent second-hand road bike which has more than the eight gears that I have at present! Fortunately, I have a son-in-law who is a very keen cyclist so I’m hoping to get lots of advice about clothing from him. Padded cycling shorts and udder cream are first on the list! See the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge 2018 page for more details and contact [email protected] or 0117 927 7120 with any queries.