A charity trustee has set his own wheels in motion for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal, after taking to the saddle to cycle 100 miles and raising over £3,200.

64-year-old Keith Jecks, from Woldingham, Surrey, has been a trustee for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity for the past six years and, after presiding over many of the charity’s projects and causes, he felt it was time to go the extra mile for one particular appeal.

The Woodland House Appeal will bring a new, standalone bereavement centre to Birmingham Women’s Hospital, which is one of only two dedicated women’s hospitals in the UK. Woodland House will create a safe haven for parents and families who experience pregnancy and baby loss, away from the hustle and bustle of the main site, where they can spend time together in comfort and privacy before they are ready to face the world.

Having already seen the positive impact of a non-clinical bereavement centre through sister charity, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Magnolia House project, the Woodland House Appeal struck a chord with Keith.

Teaming up with friends, Geoff Couzens and Paul May, keen cyclist Keith mapped out a 25-mile route around Kent, which they would lap four times. It took Keith, Geoff and Paul nearly nine hours to complete their 100-mile challenge, and the daylight was long gone by the time they rode over the finish line, but Keith couldn’t have been more proud.

Keith said: “The NHS provides incredible clinical care in incredible clinical surroundings, but when you’re grieving, the support you need most might not be clinical at all. I was so inspired by the creation of the bereavement centre at the Children’s Hospital that when we launched the Woodland House Appeal for a similar facility at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, I felt compelled to get behind it.

“I do cycle regularly but never usually more than 35 miles at a time, so completing 100 miles was quite a challenge. After that day I realised how hard my saddle really was, but every mile was worth it.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “With just £1million left to raise, Woodland House is so close to becoming a reality for the 2,000 women and families who experience pregnancy and baby loss at our hospital every year.

“We’re so grateful to Keith and his friends, whose time on the saddle has brought us another step closer to setting a new standard of care for bereaved families across the UK.”