Leicester local finishes cross-country cycle challenge

03 Aug 2017
Leicester local finishes cross-country cycle challenge

Nigel Cunniffe, from Wigston, Leicester, has cycled the whole length of Great Britain in just three weeks to raise funds for three charities that are close to his heart.

The 60 year old retired insurance broker started his challenge from Lands End in the south west on Sunday 9 July and over 1,000 miles later, he reached John O’Groats in the far north of Scotland on Saturday 29 July.

He hopes to reach his fundraising goal of £6,000 with the money being split equally between Meningitis Research Foundation, Birth Reflections and GEMS.

Nigel explained, “Very good friends that I have known for many years, Richard and Judi Mills, sadly lost their 11 year old son Harry to meningitis in April 2007. Harry seemed to be fit and well. One day he became ill with flu type symptoms and died within a few days. They have already raised a considerable amount of money to help fight this tragic disease but the fight continues and additional research is still required. That’s why I’m raising funds for Meningitis Research Foundation.

Birth Reflections is a fund that I established eight years ago in the name of my late wife, Jill. Jill was a community midwife who pioneered support for parents that had suffered difficulties during childbirth. The fund is available to help train midwives to continue to provide this valuable service."

“GEMS is a local charity set up in memory of a very close family friend, Sally Vernum who sadly died of cancer earlier this year. During her fight she spent many hours in the Osbourne Chemotherapy suite at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The fund provides money to help make the stay for patients and their supporters more comfortable."

“I’m not really a cyclist, so this was a tough challenge for me. Dartmoor was a real test of endurance due to steep hills and nine hours in heavy rain. Overall it was a magnificent team effort and I could never have done it without the support and encouragement from my family and friends. It was them that helped make it happen and kept me going till the end. The whole journey was one of the best experiences of my life. Great people, great scenery, great memories. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far.”

Rob Dawson, Head of Support at Meningitis Research Foundation said, “We’re really grateful to Nigel for taking on this huge challenge. The funds that he raises for Meningitis Research Foundation will be used to support lifesaving research into the prevention, detection and early treatment of meningitis. It will also allow us to continue raising awareness of the disease and support those affected.”

Donations to Nigel’s chosen charities can be made via his fundraising page at: virginmoneygiving.com/NigelCunniffe

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