This charity cycle club has been organised by UKATA in support of the Mavis Nye Foundation.

Ab Woolass (long-standing auditor for UKATA) along with Marnie Owen, James Griffiths and Toni Purvis will take part in various cycle races throughout the year up and down the UK.

With help from sponsors and supporters within the industry, we will be able to raise money to help fund mesothelioma treatment research and raise awareness around mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease that kills over 2000 people each year.

Ab talks about the challenge…

For most people that know me, I have been involved in the asbestos industry for a very long time now. I have had friends and work colleagues that have unfortunately succumbed to an asbestos related disease in one way or another.

My story so far… at the beginning of lockdown in 2020,  I decided that I needed to do something for myself initially (middle aged, overweight etc). So, I got out my trusty hybrid bike and started off on a short distance of about 10 miles, which I managed to keep going each day. After a while I bought a road bike (then another and another) and then the daily mileage increased.

I often get asked “why am I doing it”? Well, firstly it’s been for my mental health, and secondly my weight. I have lost 5 stone in weight since June 6th 2020, through cycling more or less every day and eating a lot healthier diet (a lot less alcohol as well).

During 2021, I have taken cycling to the next level, entering quite a few sportives, races and challenges around the country mainly supporting Maggies’ Centres (cancer support charity), coming in the top 10 in all ages in most events. During the year, I completed the Everest Challenge, which was to cycle the height of Everest in one session.  This I completed in 16 hours and it nearly wiped me out! Cycling up a 9% – 16% hill 81 times was no laughing matter at the time.

So why do I want to do this?

Cycling I love, and after discussions with UKATA it seemed that the obvious thing to do to:

1. Increase the awareness of asbestos and its health effects;

2. Raise the profile of the Mavis Nye Foundation and the work it does in supporting those with an asbestos-related disease.

Who is Mavis Nye?

Mavis Nye was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009 and continues to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos and mesothelioma.

Mavis was suddenly aware that her breathing was laboured during a short walk to the shop across the road. An urgent appointment with her GP was made and within hours she was admitted into hospital where seven litres of fluid were drained from her lung. After weeks of tests and biopsies, she was given the news that she had mesothelioma.

In 2017, Mavis set up her own charity, the Mavis Nye Foundation with the goal to:

1 – Provide relief of financial hardship by providing aid to those persons in the UK requiring assistance to access medical treatment, in particular experimental medical treatment
2 – Help the advancement of laboratory and clinical research in the UK for the treatment of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases for the public benefit and the dissemination of the useful results of that research.
3 – Assist in the treatment and case of persons suffering from mesothelioma in particular, but not exclusively, by awarding scholarships or grants tenable at any British university or institution of higher education for health professionals in financial need and endeavouring to work primarily in the field of mesothelioma nursing in the UK.