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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Dedicated Cumbria girl cycles her way into heart of her community

WHEN Cumbria girl Ella Parker returns to school tomorrow she’ll have plenty to tell her teachers and classmates.

The Parker family, Mike, daughter Ella, son Zac and Gina finish the Super Cycle at the General Burgoyne in Urswick to raise money for Alice’s Escapes. LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50067396B000

The seven-year-old, of Great Urswick, cycled more than 200 miles during the summer holidays, raising more than £2,000 for Alice’s Escapes.

She returned home on Sunday to huge cheers from her supporters who had gathered at the General Burgoyne pub.

Accompanying Ella on her epic charity cycle ride were parents, Gina and Michael Parker, and 20-month-old brother Zac.

Proudly hugging his daughter, Mike, 39, said: “I’m absolutely stoked. We’ve been all over the country doing this.

“Gina’s done it all with her, some of the time I had to work. Ella has really, really grown up during this challenge, I’m proud of her.”

Mrs Parker, 38, said: “We’re so proud but I’ll be quite open and say it’s been tiring.”

In setting herself the challenge, Ella aimed to “be kind and help people and get fit.

“She’s exceeded her fundraising target by 174 per cent and has bags more stamina than when she started.

“You can’t do 23 miles in a day as a seven-year-old and not be fit.

“There have been times that have been challenging – when it’s been chucking it down, or baking hot, or the midges have been biting – but that was the whole point of it.”

Alice’s Escapes is the family holiday charity founded by Ulverston teenager Alice Pyne, who won worldwide recognition for her ‘bucket list’ before losing her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year.

Ella, who got a bike for her seventh birthday, picked the charity herself. Rides in Cumbria included Dalegarth to Ravenglass and Newbiggin, near Waberthwaite, to Bootle. The family also cycled on holiday in Bath and Devon.

At the General Burgoyne on Sunday, the Parkers’ efforts inspired a charitable afternoon with people giving generously. The pub laid on a barbecue and landlord Craig Sherrington raised £300 for Alice’s Escapes with an Ice Bucket Challenge in the car park.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Ella-Zac-Parker/

Have your say

Ella, what a privilege it's been to get to know you. You are an incredibly kind hearted little girl and I only wish that Alice could have met you. She'd have been so impressed by what you've achieved. Mabel sends lots of wags x

Posted by Vicky Pyne on 4 September 2014 at 15:25

Thanks to everyone who helped us along the way -particularly Craig and Lou at the fabulous General Burgoyne in Great Urswick!!

Posted by Mike Parker on 3 September 2014 at 19:02

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