A PRIEST and two members of staff from Poole Hospital will be pedalling 500km in just seven days for charity next month.

Father Mark Skelton, 50, from St Mary’s Catholic Church, on Wimborne Road, who has been dubbed the ‘Pedalling Priest’, will travel from the Pacific to the Carribean coast in Costa Rica, from April 3 to 12.

He will be joined by Penny Jarvis, 63, lead for Poole Hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), and Amanda Colman, head of patient experience, for the challenge, which has so far seen fundraising total over £10,000 for Poole Hospital Charity.

Father Mark Skelton said that the cycle is also a chance to celebrate 25 years of priesthood, while raising funds for Dignity in Dementia, which aims to imp-rove the hospital environment for patients with dementia.

He added: “As a priest, I am well aware of the struggles encountered by so many people in this regard and anything that we can do to help has to be a good thing.”

Father Skelton went on to say that it is great to be able to raise funds for an incredibly impor-tant charity.

Louise Jenkins, Older People’s Nurse Specialist and Lead for Dignity in Dementia, said: “We are so grateful for the support of the amazing cycling trio.

“Dementia is growing in prevalence and we know how distressing being in hospital can be for people suffering with the disease.

“We are immensely proud of all involved in the Costa Rica Cycle Challenge and send our very best wishes to them all.”

For more information on the team, go to teamdignity.weebly.

com and for more information on Poole Hospital Charity, call 01202 448449 or email fundraising@ poole.nhs.uk