Estelle Carmichael, Deputy Chief of People at Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, is taking on the ultimate cycling challenge in aid of the Trust’s official charity, NorthCare.

Estelle and her husband Roddy will be cycling from London to Amsterdam from 8 – 12 June. We caught up with her to find out more about the challenge, her fundraising and more…

Estelle Carmichael.jpg“I’ve been in this post for around 12 months now, and it’s been great! Things have been extremely busy but it’s clear to see we have amazing staff who have experienced some real challenges, particularly throughout the pandemic. But it hasn’t stopped those little glimpses of brilliance shining through, which has been wonderful to see.

“My husband and I both really enjoy cycling, and in 2019 we took on the challenge of cycling from London to Paris, which we really enjoyed. A group of eight decided to try the London to Amsterdam cycle following that, but it was unfortunately cancelled twice due to COVID.

“In January 2020, I was diagnosed with a spinal problem and had major surgery here at Salford Royal Hospital. It was a real insight into how things were working ‘on the ground’ during COVID, it was a little bit like being a mystery shopper behind the scenes, and I was so pleased with the quality of care I received.

“From the surgeons who performed the procedure, to the porters who would make jokes just to raise a smile, every staff member didn’t seem to realise what a positive impact they made, they just considered it part of their job. The first thing I remember after waking up from the surgery was the Recovery Nurse saying to me “your husband has been calling for you, don’t worry I’ve told him you’re safe and well.”

“I’m constantly pushing myself and this upcoming challenge is part of that. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, and I know I need to push myself to keep physically fit to reduce my changes of needing a wheelchair in the future.

“After shielding through the pandemic, I really missed riding my bike, so this is my opportunity to get back out there and make a difference with the funds I raise. It’s daunting, but it feels more achievable with every training ride I do.

“There’s just something about cycling downhill at 30mph (don’t tell my mum!), the energy and freedom is amazing.”

To support Estelle’s fundraising, visit her JustGiving page - If you have a fundraising idea or a challenge you’d like to take on in support of NorthCare Charity, visit to contact the team