MEET TEAM PREVENT: CAROLINE BENNISON

As the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey gets closer, we thought we’d introduce you to some of the amazing riders that we have taking part as members of Team Prevent Breast Cancer! This week, it’s over to our very own Community Fundraiser, Caroline!

Caroline Bennison Community Fundraiser Team Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

Tell us a bit about your job at Prevent Breast Cancer?

I started working for Prevent Breast Cancer five years ago, after having some time off whilst my son was little – though it definitely doesn’t feel like I’ve been here that long! I originally joined the team as a charity administrator and moved across into fundraising last year. I now work three days a week as the Community Fundraiser. I love that my job introduces me to so many amazing people with inspiring stories and every day is different. My background is in sales, account management and business development – before working here I was an account manager for an insurance company, working in its education team.

What made you decide to sign up to RideLondon?

I was inspired by Nikki – Prevent Breast Cancer’s Executive Director – and our supporters after they took on the London to Paris cycling challenge a few years ago, which made me want to do something myself. I love London as a city but wouldn’t ever be able to run in the London Marathon, so when I found out that PBC was selected as the Charity of the Year I thought it would be the perfect challenge for me – surely it wouldn’t be too hard to spend a few hours riding a bike with a bit of training?! Okay, so maybe I was being a little overconfident, but thinking about how exhilarating and exciting it will be to finish the event riding down The Mall is keeping me going!

What’s your cycling background – have you been doing any training?

I always loved cycling when I was younger, but until I started training for this I don’t think I’d been on a bike for almost 20 years – unless you count the odd week at Centre Parcs! I started my training for RideLondon on a mountain bike, riding locally on the Trans Pennine Trail, but had only ridden about 10 – 12 miles when I decided to take part in the CWM sportive. I’d arranged to hire a bike from the brilliant team at Chapeau to use for the sportive and the rest of my training, which I picked up on the day.  Learning how to ride a road bike whilst cycling 46km along the roads of Cheshire was scary, but thankfully I was riding with a fantastic group who kept me going and gave me lots of help! Despite a fairly impressive fall half way into the sportive, I managed to finish it more quickly than I’d expected, with only minor cuts and bruises – though I definitely felt it the following few days!

What are you hoping to get out of taking part in RideLondon?

Breast cancer is a truly horrible disease, but I can already see the difference our research is making now and will make going forwards. If I can raise some money to help that research continue, then I know that in the future my children or grandchildren will live in a world where breast cancer is preventable. I also want to show my children that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, and I can’t wait to see them cheering me and the rest of Team PBC on.

What are your other hobbies?

At the moment, fitting in cycling training around my work and family life is taking up a lot of my spare time, but I try to squeeze in a weekly Pilates class too. I also run a Beaver Scout group and try to make time to catch up with friends over coffee or a glass of wine whenever we can!

What’s on your bucket list?

I love travelling and have always fancied doing a bigger challenge, like a trek to Machu Picchu or walking the Great Wall of China, so maybe that could be my next challenge in a couple of years – watch this space!

To help Caroline reach her goal and to support Team Prevent Breast Cancer, you can donate to her Money Giving page. If you’re taking part in RideLondon, take a look at our top tips on training for a cycling challenge!