Intrepid young cyclists, from Richmond School and Sixth Form College, have raised an incredible £4,800 for the Butterwick Hospice. In just five days, brothers James and Andrew Lunn, 13 and 11 years old, cycled 300 miles across the country from Richmond Surrey back to their home in Richmond North Yorkshire. Meanwhile, back in Richmond, North Yorkshire, age 13, a school friend of James, 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. Dropping out was not an option for Andrew and he pulled out every last ounce of energy and resilience to get through each day, The route took in a number of landmarks, including Arsenal Football Club, with Richmond Station being their final resting point, 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 commented: “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. Not to be beaten, and with the thumbs-up from the doctor and the support of his family and friends, 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 and 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.