A TEACHING assistant from Barnoldswick led a group of friends on an epic cycle ride to raise money for a charity close to her heart.
Claire Grace (28), led the group of 17 cyclists along a 45-mile stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to support the Felix Fund, which helps bomb disposal experts and their families.
Claire said: “I decided to raise money for the Felix Fund because one of my best friends, Daniel King, is in the Bomb Disposal Squad and has been involved and injured in a number of explosions in Afghanistan.
“He lost two good friends in those explosions; one was Capt. Dan Read who I have met previously. He was injured in one explosion and then killed in a second in 2010.”
The Felix Fund provides therapeutic breaks for bomb disposal teams returning from Afghanistan and other welfare and rehabilitation facilities.
The charity also provides hardship grants for individual members of “the bomb disposal family” in need.
Claire added: “We decided to ride from Leeds to Barnoldswick, a feat that would test everyone’s strength.
“Seventeen of us started and finished the ride, taking between five and eight hours. Everybody did fantastically well and we hope to have raised over £2,500.”
Claire said a massive thank you to everyone who supported the group in its efforts.
“We had help from local businesses, without whom this could not have happened.
“SG Carpets provided the transport for the cycles, B&J Travel supplied a coach to transport the group, and Westons brought a van to support the riders all the way home. Thanks also to Tommy and Barbara Honeyman for the support they gave us, to the Co-operative for giving us energy drinks and bars, to Hope Technology for drinks bottles, and Rolls-Royce Leisure for opening early for everyone who made it back.
“Also I would like to thank all the people that took part in the ride as this wouldn’t have happened without them.”
Anyone who would like to support the group’s efforts with a donation to the Felix Fund can visit www.justgiving.com/claire-grace1