WORLD champion cyclist Lizzie Deignan visited the hospital where she was born while learning about the work of charity Leeds Cares.
Lizzie visited patients at Leeds General Infirmary and Leeds Children’s Hospital in her new role as ambassador for Leeds Cares, which is the charity dedicated to supporting exceptional healthcare for the people of Leeds, Yorkshire and beyond.
Leeds Cares is the official fundraising partner of the UCI Road World Championships
The charity told Lizzie about some of the new projects and on-going appeals they’re fundraising for in 2019, which will be supported by funds raised at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire this September.
They include a support programme for families of neonatal babies, a new exercise and rehab programme for major trauma patients and buying of a world-class rehabilitation machine - the BTE primus - for patients suffering from complex limb disorders.
The Yorkshire pro-cyclist visited the neonatal wards of Leeds Children’s Hospital then moved on to the trauma centre at Leeds General Infirmary.
She also met a team of anaesthetists who have all committed to ride the official sportive of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships to raise money for Leeds Cares.
Lizzie said: “It was quite an emotional return to the place where I was born as I got to see first-hand the contributions made by Leeds Cares to the wards.
"It’s everything from major pieces of equipment to building refurbishments. It was lovely meeting the new parents and babies on the neonatal ward, but also learning about the challenges that premature babies can bring.
“The projects Leeds Cares supports are life changing. Supporting families, improving access to counselling services, making the wards better – it all helps in a very real way.
Leeds Cares donates around £14m every year to support all the departments at Leeds Teaching Hospitals – from the Children’s Hospital to the Cancer Centre.
As the fundraising partner of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, the charity is hoping to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds from the event towards new projects across the hospitals to further help people from Yorkshire and beyond.
Leeds Cares chief executive officer David Welch, said “It’s been a pleasure welcoming Lizzie to Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
"The charity provides support in all areas of the hospital ensuring that care here isn’t just good, it can be exceptional.
David Lappartient, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale, said: “This partnership with Leeds Cares as Official Fundraising Partner of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships is an opportunity to demonstrate the power of sport and leave a lasting and positive effect for healthcare in the country.
The eight-day 2019 UCI Road World Championships from September 22 to 29 will see some of the world’s best cyclists travel to Yorkshire for men’s and women’s races, across age groups from Junior to Elite.
Every day will see a start in different towns and cities throughout Yorkshire, with each finishing in the main competition town of Harrogate.