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St. Joseph’s Scout Leader Takes On Keech Cycling Challenge

Date: 4th Sep 2020 Author: Gerald Law

Scout Leader Keelan Pannell of St Joseph’s in Luton decided he would follow the fine Scouting tradition of making a difference to his local community to support Keech Hospice.
His original target was to raise £100 by cycling 60mile (100km) around the streets of Luton. Having completed this in just one day, Keelan increased his objective to 120mile (200km); and he soon had to extend his aim again to £300 and 300 miles – the equivalent of cycling London to Paris. This he reached by the beginning of August, and the goal was increased yet again to £500 and 500 miles which would mean Keelan had cycled the equivalent of Luton to Newcastle and back.
Feeling like this was “Carry on Scouting” Keelan and his bicycle just carried on going and soon passed this target which, again, was revised 600 miles. By now Keelan would have returned to London from Paris.
Keelan organised a virtual cycle for the Scouts to keep them engaged with Scouting while they were unable to attend their usual meetings. Living close to Keech Hospice, Keelan regularly passes it while exercising. When he saw a poster, shared by one of the parents, advertising the Keech Cycle Challenge which started the same day as the St Joseph’s cycle week, he was inspired to support the local charity. The Scouts thought it would link in well with their challenge to count towards the Scouts’ Fundraising Activity Badge.
Ruby, a Cub Scout, started the fundraising, cycling 50km for Keech in June, raising £230.
Charities have been hit hard during lock down with funds dropping because of charity shops being closed, fundraising events cancelled, and collections stopped. Every penny helps and we know this money raised will be used for the benefit of others so much less fortunate than us.
Keelan told us, “the support from everyone whilst cycling locally around Luton, Barton Le Clay, Milton Keynes, Hitchin and Lilley, as well as knowing this helped a local charity motivated me to keep on doing more. Even when it was hard in the heat, rain and physically. I have lots count of the amount of punctures and falls along the way!”
A spokesperson for Keech Hospice Care added: “We’re truly inspired by Keelan cycling 600 miles to raise valuable funds for us. As the adult hospice for Luton and South Bedfordshire, and the children’s hospice for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes, the awareness and funds raised will help us continue to provide our excellent specialist care for adults and children with life-limiting and terminal illnesses, and their families, through the most desperate of times.”
By 31st August, fundraising has increased to £1000, with a further £215 raised from Gift aid. As for keen cyclist Keelan Pannell, he should be proud of his unselfish action. He has proved Scouts care, helping others even when there is no benefit to themselves; even when the times are difficult.
As well as BBC 3CR promoting Keelan Pannell’s Keech Cycling Challenge, he was interviewed by Roberto Perrone (at 5-47pm).
This was a great interview and a good promotion of his challenge and scouts making a difference in the local.
If you wish give towards this amazing charity, the link is https://keech.enthuse.com/pf/keelan-pannell-june-august-2020

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls