A 20 year old student from Redditch will be taking part in a cycling challenge in memory of her best friend’s Mum.
Olivia Salkeld will be cycling 45 miles in order to raise funds for St Richard’s Hospice, who looked after Helen Deaves (pictured) before she died in December 2015, at just 37 years old.
The annual Bikeathon event – which will take place on Sunday 1 July this year – allows participants to choose from 16, 45 or 64 miles. Each of the routes starts and finishes at the hospice in Wildwood Drive, while the two longer rides will be timed.
Olivia said : “Helen was my best friend’s mum when I was at school and was like a second mum to me. She was such a caring person and always gave great advice. Ever since Helen was in St Richard’s I wanted to do some fundraising for them; I couldn’t believe that such a great organisation relies on volunteers and charitable donations.”
Olivia will undertake the cycling challenge with her father Paul, a keen cyclist and fundraiser for the hospice. And although Olivia used to be a member of a cycling club and compete regionally, she hasn’t cycled for the past five years. She said : “It is going to be a real challenge for me, coming back to cycling after such a break!”
Kelly Johns, Fundraiser at St Richard’s, said: “Stories such as these are always poignant and personal. The impact of a loved one’s death can be life changing for family and friends. We’d like to say a big thank you to Olivia and all those taking part in our Bikeathon event; funds raised will help us to continue to provide our specialist care.”
The 16-mile route passes through villages including Kempsey and Pirton; the 45-mile route takes in Eckington and Pershore and the 64-mile route travels as far as Broadway and Snowshill. The courses will all be clearly signposted and will pass through mainly quiet country lanes, or specific bike routes, with regular refreshment stops along the way.
The Bikeathon is sponsored by Midland Communications.