Volunteer Clare Smale is on track to complete a Route 66 virtual cycling challenge to raise money for Julia’s House.

Clare will cycle a whopping 3669km in 2021. She'll travel virtually along one of the original highways in the U.S, which starts from Chicago and finishes in Santa Monica.

Clare Smale cycles in Wiltshire

The Devizes volunteer is hoping to raise £3699 to support our care for local seriously ill children and families – one pound for every kilometre she will cycle. This will be a huge challenge for Clare, who raised £1200 in 2020 by cycling the Lands’ End to John of Groats distance locally during the first lockdown last spring.

Taking advantage of her professional skills as an executive coach and speaker through her business, Inspired2Learn, Clare has previously volunteered her time to give presentations to local community groups about Julia’s House, and has helped out at events.

Clare says, “I enjoy meeting new people and the variety you get volunteering for Julia’s House. I’ll do whatever I can to support the charity because they are a lifeline for local families and really poorly children.”

Julia’s House is the only children’s hospice that provides free respite care across Claire’s home county of Wiltshire. We support families in the community, at our hospices, and in the family home.

“I love that Julia’s House is helping local children in Wiltshire,” Claire says. “That’s really important to me and my husband, to know that we’re making a difference to families who are having a really difficult time on our doorstep.”

She adds, “I haven’t been able to volunteer as much as I’d like over the past year because of COVID, so I’ve been doing what I can to raise funds with cycling sponsorship and client donations through my business instead.”

Clare Smale is cycling for Julia's House

In a bid to meet her fundraising challenge, Clare is also donating all proceeds from her three coaching books and professional webinars this year.

Claudia Hickin, Community Fundraiser for Julia’s House in Wiltshire, says, “Clare’s been a brilliant support for Julia’s House since we opened our hospice in Devizes four years ago, and we’d like to say a huge thank you to her for taking on this ambitious cycling challenge for us.

“We don’t receive any government funding in Wiltshire, so it’s only with the help of wonderful supporters like Clare that we can keep caring for seriously ill children and families across our county.”

Clare is around a quarter of the way through her challenge and has raised more than £500 so far. Make a donation at her JustGiving page.

Inspired to fundraise or volunteer? Find out more and get involved.