Young cyclists hand over £4,800 to hospice hit by fraud

Andrew, James and Marcus hand over a cheque for £4,800 to the Butterwick Hospice.

Three young cyclists have raised a £4,800 for the Butterwick Hospice.

Brothers 13-year-old James and Andrew Lunn, 11, cycled 300 miles across the country from Richmond Surrey back to their home in Richmond.

Meanwhile, back in Richmond their friend Marcus, 13, who has Cardio Facio Cutaneous Syndrome, was keen to help with his own cycling challenge.

The Richmond-to-Richmond ride was demanding, compounded by Andrew being struck with a cold and high temperature just before they set off. But dropping out was not an option.

The route took in a number of landmarks, including Arsenal Football Club, with Richmond Station being their final destination, where they enjoyed a well-deserved ice cream to celebrate their success.

The boys chose the Butterwick Hospice as their beneficiary after hearing about the financial difficulties it faced after falling victim to fraud earlier in the year.

The hospice, which cares for terminally-ill children and adults from its sites in Bishop Auckland and Stockton, saw its donations drop significantly after its former chief executive was sentenced.

James said: “We have been deeply impressed with the generosity of people, both in sponsorship and donations from those we met along the way in shops and petrol stations, all eager to give what they could.

“Our rigorous training programme really paid off, ensuring we were not only bike fit, but completely motivated and raring to go.

“It was a really rewarding experience and has given us the incentive to do some more challenges in the future.”

Andrew and James invited Marcus to join in with his own challenge, cycling 30 miles on his adapted tricycle.

Unfortunately, Marcus suffered a major setback when he crashed his bike and broke his arm, compounded with a period of further illness.

However, Marcus has shown great determination to get back on his bike and continues to chip away at the miles.

Scott, Andrew and James’ father, who is head of maths at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, rode alongside the boys during the challenge.

He said: “I am so proud of what the boys have achieved, they have demonstrated a fabulous community and heartfelt spirit.

“They attend St Mary’s Church, in Richmond, and have connections with people who have received care and support from the Butterwick Hospice and together they came up with this idea. They have certainly demonstrated their motto ‘do good, undo harm’.”

To mark the end of their cycling adventure, James and Andrew took part in the recent annual Ride-For-Butterwick and were delighted to be invited, together with Marcus, to hand over their £4,800 cheque, in recognition of their hard work, in front of BBC Look North film camera crew at the Butterwick Hospice.

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