Chiswick woman in the final for this year’s JustGiving Awards

Image above: Lis Van Lynden

Lis Van Lynden raises £9,000 for charity

A woman from Chiswick, Lis van Lynden, has been selected as a finalist in the Endurance Fundraiser of the Year category for the GoCardless JustGiving Awards. Lis, aged 50, managed to raise over £9,000 for charity through her cycling journey.

Lasting for more than seven months, Lis cycled a gruelling 5,000 miles along the Great Britain coastline to support the Multiple Sclerosis (MS Trust) and Multiple Sclerosis Society after her own diagnosis with the condition in 2013.

Since renting out her flat a year ago, Lis has been on a continuous cycling journey, carrying her essential items, including a tent, for her challenge. She primarily camped outdoors and occasionally stayed in B&Bs or with friends.

Despite her accomplishment of cycling across the Great Britain’s coastline, many congratulated her for cycling ‘the coast of the UK’, a mistaken belief she decided not to correct. As a result, she extended her challenge, cycling along the coast and entire border of Northern Ireland for an additional three weeks.

Image above: Lis Van Lynden

“It’s not over yet”

Commenting on the extension, Lis said:

“It’s not over yet. When I finished, everyone mistakenly thought I’d cycled the coast of the UK not the coastline of Great Britain, so I decided to do that. Donations continued to roll in, so once I’d finished that, I cycled the coast and border of Northern Ireland. Then I thought that as the Republic of Ireland is just next door, I may as well cycle the border of that too.

During her initial cycling of the Great Britain coastline, Lis happened to meet another female cyclist, Alice, who was also on a coast-to-coast journey in the opposite direction. They met in Applecross, and were the only two women to undertake the coast of Great Britain the previous year.

Lis’s remarkable fundraising efforts cause the attention of the public, leading to her nomination for the Endurance Fundraiser of the Year category. A panel of judges, including Radio DJ Rickie Haywood-Williams, Actress Angela Griffin, fundraiser Caroline Jones (known for wearing a charity shop outfit daily for a year), and Pascale Harvie, General Manager of JustGiving, selected Lis as a finalist.

The JustGiving Awards, now in its eleventh year, is anticipated to be an emotional and inspiring event. The judges shortlisted 21 finalists, three for each of the seven award categories, from over 13,000 nominations.

Image above: JustGiving Awards judges

Vote now

Currently situated in a pub in Kenmare, awaiting a bike chain repair, Lis said:

“I’m on the Wild Atlantic route now and going all the way up before I head back into Derry. I’m not sure how long it will take me, but I’ll make sure I’m back for the GoCardless JustGiving Awards in September at the very latest.”

Pascale Harvie, President and General Manager at JustGiving, acknowledged the dedication of fundraisers like Lis, saying:

“Our fundraisers and crowdfunders are amazing, and while they don’t seek praise and recognition, every individual like Lis deserves it.”

The ceremony, scheduled to be held at London’s Roundhouse on 25 September, will announce seven winners and JustGiving’s Charity of the Year. The winners will receive official trophies presented by celebrities and well-known sports figures.

To vote in the awards see here: Just Giving Awards 2023