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About Tour de Manc

Tour de Manc is a not for profit brand, which aims to raise significant funds for registered charities, whilst supporting cycling inclusivity (enabling para-cyclists, women cyclists, kids etc) and encouraging people to cycle for health benefits.
Tour de Manc has no employees and everything is done on a voluntary basis, with only necessary costs (such as event insurance, essential printing and materials manufacture) being deducted. There is no profiteering in any form and all surpluses are donated to registered charities.

Tour de Manc will enable fundraising through running cycling related events and accompanying programmes, such as fitness and skills programmes to get riders fit for the Tour de Manc sportive challenge. We think we have a very exciting roadmap, developed with the executive team at Tameside MBC and linking in with other organisations (e.g. ActiveTameside, Livewell, Greatersport, Wheels for All etc).

We aim to have over 45,000 participants in the next 5 years, from grassroots kids’ cycling and disabled inclusion rides to elite competitive events. Tour de Manc aim to work with other organisations (public and private) to achieve joint aims and are actively supported by Greater Manchester borough councils, TFGM, some significant corporates and several charities.

Background on the HaTS charity

Haematology and Transplant Support (HaTS) charity is a registered cancer patient support charity. It’s overriding objective is to provide and improve upon the support and care provided to patients and families undergoing treatment for blood cancers at the Haematology and Transplant Unit (HTU), situated in The Christie Hospital. Originally known as ALUPAL, the charity is celebrating 30 years of existence in 2016.

HaTS helps patients and their families overcome some of the day to day challenges they encounter when faced with life threatening illnesses and long periods of isolation. Whilst recognising the excellent clinical care and support provided by the HTU, HaTS also recognises that sometimes patients and their families need that little extra support which is often outside of the NHS resources.

The funds raised by HaTS are used to provide financial assistance to those patients and carers experiencing difficulties. The funds also help to improve the service provided on the unit, for example, providing complementary therapies to patients and carers alike. These therapies help with the physical and emotional effects experienced as a result of a cancer diagnosis. The charity pays for the little things, such as individual newspapers for patients in isolation and bigger items, such as specialist adjustable chairs.

Forever Manchester

Forever Manchester support grassroots community activities across the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

From Offerton to Oldham, from Levenshulme to Little Lever from Sale to Saddleworth – in every neighbourhood across Greater Manchester thousands of people are involved in community activities.

In fact at any given time there are an unbelievable 20,000 grassroots local projects of varying sizes and interest taking place, each one providing support and opportunity for the 2.6 million population of Greater Manchester.

Whatever your passion – kids, older people, people with disabilities, sports teams or carers, luncheon clubs, cancer support, food banks, youth clubs – Forever Manchester is the only charity that funds and supports them all.

Through generous contributions from individuals and businesses, Forever Manchester strengthens communities and enriches local life by inspiring local people to do extraordinary things together.

We are proud to have Danny Franks as an ambassador, who shares a passion for this place, supporting Forever Manchester with the continued and growing success of the Tour De Manc.

Chas Collins and the 2017 Tour de Manc

Chas was a patient at the Christie hospital’s Haematology and Transplant unit. He was very affable and extremely well liked by everyone on the unit – patients, doctors, nurses, cleaners and volunteers alike. Chas was a keen cyclist and although he was often in the HTU for treatment, he was often out on his bike. One day he told me that he no longer had the energy to remain safe on the bike and so had to stop pedalling. With a smile on his face, he said “it had to happen sooner or later”.

Chas was a supporter of one of the Tour de Manc headline charities (HaTS) and was always interested in finding out the latest news on  the Tour de Manc arrangements –  as an experienced and knowledgeable cyclist, Chas provided lots of great input during the planning stages of the inaugural event (held June 14th 2016).

Sadly, Chas lost his struggle against Leukaemia the week preceding the inaugural ride – so we thought it would be a fitting tribute, to dedicate the 2017 Tour de Manc to him. This is why the 2017 Tour de Manc is known as the “Chas Collins Memorial Edition”. We know Chas would have been chuffed at this.

Tony & Danny – Tour de Manc Organisers

About Chas

Chas had loved cycling all his life, as a child he had regularly gone to the velodrome at Fallowfield with his mates and watched his heroes race. Family life and work curtailed his cycling activities for a period and it wasn’t until he retired that he started to get back out on his bike on a regular basis. Cycling gave him freedom and the opportunity to meet interesting and likeminded people, this suited his social and friendly nature.

It was as a result of these friendships that a small cycling group started to form. This eclectic mix of “elderly schoolboys” that were either retired or between jobs and described as a cross between Dad’s Army and Last of the Summer Wine, became known as “The Gentlemen Shale Trailers of Cheadle”. Chas was the oldest member. They would ride on a regular basis and explore the North West. In an attempt to make it look like they were a serious outfit they would regularly hold meetings including an AGM, despite their best efforts these were anything but serious.

In 2013 at the age of 70 Chas decided he was going to cycle around North Wales, he didn’t book any accommodation he just thought he’d see where he ended up each evening and take it from there. He covered up to 100 miles a day and had a great time. Chas had created several adaptations and additions to his bike, the most legendary of these modifications was the washing line he’d erected between the tubes of his frame where he would hang the underpants he had washed in the hotel room the night before.

Later the same year Chas was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Initially things didn’t look good, but thanks to the incredible staff at Christie’s and some ground-breaking treatment, a few months later he was told that he was in remission. Chas always knew that there was a chance the leukaemia could return, despite this he remained positive and continued to go out every week with his cycling pals.

Eventually the leukaemia did come back and regular visits to the HTU clinic began. Chas was a popular patient with the staff. Regardless of how ill he became he would always want to know how they were doing. He would regularly talk to them about their interests, for those that shared a passion for cycling he would provide routes and cafe recommendations. For those with other interests he would help any way he could.

Chas was determined to cycle as long as possible, he would joke that his regular blood transfusions were actually a form of high level blood doping that was going to make him faster than ever. Eventually however the illness got the better of him and he had to give up cycling. Despite this he remained positive, he truly believed he’d had a great life and was content in his outlook. The Gentleman Shale Trailers continued to visit him and share the stories from the latest ride. At an AGM it was unanimously agreed that Chas should be given the title of club president.

On the 9th of June 2016 Chas passed away. As per his instructions, at the wake, his bike was placed on the stage fully equipped for one of his “grand tours”. A pair of underpants were suspended between the tubes of the frame.

Rick Collins. Rider, 2017 Tour de Manc – Chas Collins Memorial Edition and Chas’ son