A group of amateur cyclists have taken on a gruelling 1,000-mile bike ride to raise money for the Sick Children’s Trust’s Branching Out appeal backed by the Sheffield Telegraph.
The four riders - Liam Ballinger, Jody Morris, Hadde Kordab and Michael Campbell - cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 13 days in aid of the trust, which provides free accommodation for parents of children having hospital treatment.
The charity’s Treetop House in Sheffield supports families of children being treated at the city’s children’s hospital.
The team collected more than £3,000, and were inspired to raise money after the trust supported Liam’s family when his six-year-old niece was undergoing major surgery for a heart and lung disorder just days after she was born at the children’s hospital.
Liam, aged 29, said: “As well as her heart and lung disorder, Jess has many other serious conditions which has meant she often needs hospital treatment for up to 10 weeks at a time.
“Her condition is unique and unprecedented and she has been described by specialists as a ‘medical marvel’, with her case recorded in medical journals.”
He added: “The charity has no other funding other than donations. The money will be used to help build a brand new house in Sheffield. It will mean the world to me, especially in light of what they have already done for my family.”
Hadde, 33, added: “We battled through every kind of terrain and every obstacle that the British weather could throw at us.
“We tested our physical endurance and our reserves of willpower and determination to the limit but we all had a single minded focus on reaching John O’Groats and the finishing line so we could say ‘we did it’.
“We were hoping to raise £2,500 but now we have exceeded that amount we are delighted.”
Hadde said her employer - mobile phone company O2 - has promised to match fund the total amount.
“That means there is even more to come,” she added.
The cyclists were from Leeds, Wakefield and Batley.
The trust’s second ‘home from home’ is due to open in Northumberland Road, in converted properties at the back of the hospital, in October following the launch of the £980,000 Branching Out appeal. The 11-bedroom unit will be set aside for parents of young patients to stay in free of charge.
Visit www.sickchildrenstrust.org for more information.