Nello 2003 proceeds and update on the
Force Cancer Support Centre

Exeter,Devon December 2, 2003 It was with the greatest pleasure that Kim and I visited Meriel, Caro and Mervyn at the FORCE Cancer Charity this morning to handover a cheque for £10,500, the proceeds from the Nello Century Cycle Challenge 2003.

While there we had the chance to visit the site of the Force Cancer Support Centre. Donning hard hats and traipsing through mud on a cold winter's morning, we spoke to the builders who have been entrusted to construct this important building. I remember when the idea was first mooted some four or five years ago, and, going to the launch of the appeal where we saw the architects' drawings for the first time. Now the exciting dream of creating a dedicated cancer support centre is well on the way to becoming a reality. The foundations have been dug; the infrastructures have been laid for services, fibre optic cables in place for network communications; the blockwork that defines the structure itself is rapidly going up. Even at this early stage it is possible to gain an idea of what this imaginative and sensitively designed building will be like, with its soothing curves, high central conservatory, and landscaped gardens that look away from the hospital behind it, across to the green hills of Haldon. It is hoped that the Force Cancer Support Centre will open in July 2004.

Everyone who has been involved in the Nello ride over the past four years, whether as a helper or as a cyclist, should be rightly proud of our collective community contribution which has been significant. Through our cycling and fundraising efforts (not to mention eating and drinking) we have helped to pay for some of the bricks and mortar used to construct this inspiring and imaginative structure. What is apparent already is that our efforts have been for an excellent cause, for this will be more than just bricks and mortar, more than just a building. With its holistic approach to treating cancer, with its concern for providing a physical space where patients, families and carers alike can find peace and comfort, with its provision of counselling, support and alternative treatments, and with its goal of providing information to those who may sometimes feel desperately starved of it, the Force Cancer Support Centre represents a vision and an ideal, a way of approaching cancer, of living with cancer, in a more humanistic, perhaps, it would even be fair to say, in a more humane manner than is possible within the day-to-day pressures of a wholly clinical environment. We will be fortunate indeed to have this far-sighted facility on our doorstep, and we should all be proud to use and support it.

Next year's cycle ride (Sunday June 27, 2004 – put the date in your diary now), as many of you already know, will be run by FORCE. It will probably be called something like the FORCE Century Cycle Challenge (with the century route itself forever known, I hope, as 'the Nello'). It's been amazing to see how a ride that was born out of a need and desire to pay tribute to a great friend has grown in importance over these years. Our ride has now established itself as a major event in the Exeter sporting calendar as well as a major element within the FORCE fundraising calendar.

This morning, we enjoyed an exciting discussion about how the FORCE Century Cyle Challenge and the evening party that is such an important part of the day might evolve. Kim and I are confident that the event can and should grow in new directions and FORCE has some excellent ideas and plans. Yet in order to make this happen while maintaining the core spirit that makes 'the Nello' such a wonderful and rewarding community event, FORCE will continue to need our support and practical help. No doubt over the coming months, as ideas and practical plans evolve, FORCE will need to gather an army of helpers. If you would like to be involved in any way, please email Carolyne Randall or Meriel Fishwick at

Finally, Kim and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us over the past four years. You’ve been magnificent and none of this would have happened without your help and hard work. It's certainly been a great ride, and we're delighted that it will continue. So we’re greatly looking forward to seeing you and to cycling with you next year.

Marc and Kim
12 December 2003

PS A date to look forward to: Michael Caines, who continues to support Ride for Life, has very kindly and generously offered us the Michael Caines Restaurant for a gourmet fundraising evening. Mario and Luisa Fontana hope to come over, probably sometime in the spring or early summer, to present their wonderful wines alongside a special menu devised by Michael and Jean-Marc. It should be a fantastic occasion of fine wines, food and above all friends (as those of you who were at the last such event will remember). If you'd like to come along, please email me and I will ensure that you get an invitation.

PPS To request an entry form for the FORCE Century Cycle Challenge 2004 (Sun June 27th, 2004), email Caro or Meriel at

The 4th Nello Century Cycle Challenge Ride Report

The 4th Nello Pasta Feast Menu

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