A 2,400 mile bike ride to Poland in aid of Treetops Hospice Care ended in disappointment, when the rider was crashed into at the ferry port - before he had even left the UK.

Treetops volunteer, Paul Peters, from Beeston, was doing the challenge on his Kawasaki motorbike to celebrate his 65th birthday and to raise money for the charity, which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions.

Paul setting off from TreetopsAfter being cheered off by staff from Treetops Hospice Care in Risley on Friday afternoon, Paul drove 170 miles to Harwich Port where he was due to catch a ferry to the Hook of Holland. From there, he was travelling to the village of Marcinowice in south-western Poland to meet family and friends.

All of a sudden there was the biggest bang

Paul explained what happened next:

“I got all the way safely to Harwich port in the south-east. I was second in the queue ready to show my passport and sat on my bike waiting, and then all of a sudden there was the biggest bang. The next thing I knew I was on the floor underneath my bike and I was stuck – I couldn’t get one leg from under it.

“The driver had hit me from behind – at what speed I’ve no idea, maybe 15 or 20 miles an hour I think. The next thing he came over to me and the first words he uttered to me were, ‘I’ve been drinking all day and are you alright?’

“I asked him to move his car back and asked the guy in front of me to move forward because the bike was trapped between the two. He went back to his car, put it into gear and then drove over part of my bike again!

“It was all sorted out exceedingly professionally by two policemen who gave me everything I could want and more. They were 100% professional. We were all breathalysed and the driver who hit me was arrested.”

I’m absolutely gutted

Paul has been a volunteer at Treetops Hospice Care in several roles including supporting guests in the Day Care Unit, preparing meals in the kitchen, as a volunteer driver bringing guests to the hospice in his car and escorting guests in the Treetops minibus.

He hopes that his story may still encourage people to donate to the hospice:

“I was 65 in March. I wanted to prove to myself I could still do it and the other reason is for Treetops. I’ve been here six years and I enjoy it. It’s for the guests in a nutshell. It’s good to take their mind of it. As most people know, I’m a bit of a wind-up merchant and they like being wound up. If they’re laughing then they’re not hurting.”

“I’m absolutely gutted this has happened. My first concern was my motorbike. I looked at that and I thought ‘oh no’ – it’s dear to me. The second was, what’s going to happen now? I couldn’t do a thing then.

“I was really lucky and I’ve no injuries or aftereffects – it could have been much worse and there’s no good moping.”

Those who would like to support Paul, can do so via his Just Giving page.


Treetops Hospice Care services include Support and Information, a Day Care Unit, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy