What's the story?
At 9am on Sunday 24 October, 30 passionate paediatric healthcare providers will leave Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London on bicycles. Their destination will be over 500 miles or over 800 kilometres away - the Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow, the city where COP26 is taking place.
Their goal is to communicate the seriousness of air pollution to fellow healthcare providers and the public, especially families with young children. Polluted air causes an estimated 7 million deaths annually, and shares the same root causes as the climate crisis.
The journey from London to Glasgow will be long and arduous. But the journey will act as an inspiration for the journey our species now has to take. Those who protect our children's health now are riding to offer hope for our children's future. They are showing us it can be done.
The cyclists include staff from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Evelina Children's Hospital in London, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Sheffield Children's Hospital, the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle, and the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow.
On the way to Glasgow, the group will stop at children’s hospitals across the UK for events in Birmingham, Sheffield and Newcastle. Pollution Pods, an award-winning art installation dramatising the air quality crisis, will join the riders in all these cities.
The cyclists will arrive in Glasgow as COP26 starts, where they will announce the numbers of kilometres completed by Ride for their Lives participants around the world, and hand over a suite of documents from the global healthcare community that outline the need for urgent action on air pollution and the wider climate crisis. This includes the Healthy Climate Prescription letter, which we encourage all healthcare providers to sign.
We need to act now to inspire others to act. The bigger the action the better the result. Our aim is to reach a million kilometres. Whether you work for a healthcare provider or you are a member of the public you can help. Join the ride virtually by cycling 100 kilometres between the 1 and 31 October - wherever you are in the world - in the run up to COP26.