A BASINGSTOKE hospice is urging people to sign up to one of its biggest annual fundraising events.

St Michael’s Hospice is holding their 22nd Big Wheel event at the Down Grange sports complex, off Pack Lane, in Kempshott on July 27 at 9am.

And the hospice, in Aldermaston Road, is appealing for people to take to the saddle to help raise money so it can continue to care for local people with life-limiting illnesses.

The hospice estimates that it will cost over £3million to provide its services to people in the borough with only 22 per cent of its annual funding coming from the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

As a result, St Michael’s Hospice has to raise a further £2.4million from its fundraising, retail and lottery activities.

On the day, riders will travel through the beautiful north Hampshire countryside and participants can choose from a range of distances, including a five mile ride, an 18 mile ride, a 31 mile ride and a gruelling 63 mile challenge.

Children will also be able to join in the fun on the day as this year sees the return of the “Little Wheel 3” – an event designed especially for youngsters aged between two and seven.

Chris Griffiths, marketing and events manager at the hospice, said: “Big Wheel is our biggest hospice led fundraising event for 2014 and attracts both families and serious riders.

“We are blessed to have an incredible venue at Down Grange and stunning countryside for riders to cycle through. This year we hope to have our best ever year and see as many people taking part as possible. We rely on the support of the local community to make this event the success it is.”