Nishkam volunteer completes gruelling 130 mile bike ride to raise funds for Queen Elizabeth Hospital

To look at Tarlok Singh Virdee is your average 60 year old from Leicester’s Sikh community. However, the Nishkam volunteer is prone to taking on something quite extraordinary be it weightlifting, cycling, donating or pushing his body to the limit.

mr virdee
The year has been difficult for him and his family with the loss of two of his brothers Salinder Singh and Jasbir Singh. In memory of his brothers, he is participated in a 130 mile Sikh Arts and Cultural Association (SACA) Charity Bike Ride. The funds raised will provide a home from home for families of children and young people with cancer on-site of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

SACA Charity Bike Ride from Birmingham to London is testing and gruelling and Tarlok is asking friends, family and the public to donate to this fantastic cause. Having successfully completed the ride last weekend, he is keen to raise maximum funds for a great cause. Tarlok Singh is no stranger to punishing himself; he took part in last year’s bike ride. The whole event then raised over £71,000 for the Children’s Radiotherapy Ward at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital Birmingham.

me virdee 2SACA, a 100% volunteer charity organisation is the main organiser of the event – over the years it has ensured the need for safety and improvements. In 1984 a group of 14 aspiring youths decided to establish a challenge that could help both local and national children’s charities. They considered a number of sporting events that would test both their determination and personal fitness. They also considered the key element of working as a team and supporting each other. The challenge would require endurance, fitness and careful planning. They set the standard for what has now become a yearly summer event lasting 2 days. The Birmingham to London cycle ride now attracts riders from all over the country and international riders each year and involves months of planning and adherence to safety management disciplines.

Last year, with the relentless effort from riders, a staggering £71,173 was raised for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Children’s radiotherapy ward. This year, the money raised by the SACA Charity Bike Ride 2016 will be used to fund a ‘home from home’ in association with Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for families of children and young adults receiving cancer treatment. Every year a children’s charity is selected as the ride’s beneficiary. Over the last 31 years, the ride has raised in excess of £450,000 in aid of different children’s charity groups.

The Teenage Cancer Trust Young Person’s Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is for 16-24 year olds and has 11 in-patient beds and a day-care facility. The first unit in Birmingham was built at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2000 as one of the first Teenage Cancer Trust units in the country. This amazing unit was updated and re-provided in May 2011 when the new hospital was built.

Tarlok Singh said, “The Nishkam Centre and Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) are always supporting charitable causes here in the UK and abroad. I respect the Chairman Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh who encourages us all to participate in charitable and benevolent acts.  I took part in this two day bike ride on the 16th and 17th of July to raise as much money as I can to help fellow human beings.

“It was a very difficult undertaking and I struggled. I was honoured to be amongst cycling professionals, novices, and people who generally wanted to raise funds for a good cause. I am glad I undertook my training and was able to participate in small events leading up to this big event. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to donate to good causes to help others. It would be great if people could find it in their hearts to support me to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I have exceeded the target I set myself but we welcome additional funds so that we can beat our total of £71,000 last year.”

The ride started from Birmingham (Smethwick) and proceeded through Coventry, Daventry and through Milton Keynes taking in the picturesque views of our British countryside. It then reached its centennial milestone in Luton where there was an overnight stay. The ride continued in the morning, in Luton and passed through St Albans, Radlet, Elstree and Harrow before reaching its final destination to Southall in West London.

To support Tarlok Singh on his quest please donate via his JustGiving page

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