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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Alice Pyne’s cycling heroes

ALICE Pyne has achieved far more in her 16 years than most people manage in a lifetime, and yesterday she added another accomplishment to her ever-growing list.

The Ulverston teenager inspired a group of cyclists to complete a marathon ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of her charity, Alice’s Escapes.

“Team Alice” arrived in the far-northern Scottish village yesterday evening after 10 gruelling days and almost 1,000 miles in the saddle.

The eight weary riders, who set off from Cornwall on Friday, April 20, with a support crew in tow, have so far raised £7,145, already beating their target of £6,000, with more money to come.

Team Alice member Gary Spencely, of Walney, said: “We’re all feeling ecstatic at the moment. There’s been many highs and a few lows, but everybody’s just so happy that we’ve got to the end.

“Our underlying principle is that no matter how hard this is, it’s nothing compared to what Alice and her family have gone through, so you just put that to the back of your mind and you just get on with it. All we think about every single day is Alice and her family and why we’re doing this, which is to raise as much money as we possibly can for Alice, who’s a fantastic human being and who’s inspired me and all the other riders a lot.

“On behalf of every single member of the team, I just want to say how much we’ve enjoyed what we’ve done and how much Alice is an inspiration to us all and how proud we are to be Team Alice.”

Alice was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 12, and in the ensuing four years has dedicated herself to getting people to sign on to the bone marrow register.

Last year her efforts, which could end up saving hundreds of lives, saw her crowned the UK’s most inspirational young woman.

Now Alice – together with family and friends – has set up a charity to help families with seriously ill children.

Alice’s Escapes will give families a much-needed break from hospital wards by offering holidays and retreats in the Lake District. For the initiative to work, not only does the charity rely on fundraising feats by people like the eight Team Alice cyclists, but the generosity of local firms.

Alice’s Escapes is especially keen to hear from any hotel or bed and breakfast operators willing to offer accommodation, or eateries that can donate meals. Alice said: “Anything at all can be offered – perhaps a manicure for little girls, a pony trek, a boat trip or cycle hire. You may be involved in a theatre group or be able to offer cinema tickets. No matter what your business, there’s probably something you could contribute.” For more information visit www.alicesescapes.co.uk. Donate to Team Alice at: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/teamaliceontour/

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