Bike trek for hospice fund

A TEAM of 20 cyclists are preparing for a 100-mile bike ride in memory of a local businesswoman.

Sharon Blenkin, owner of Pied Piper Childcare, died aged 48 from cervical cancer in March, and son-in-law Duncan Barraclough has planned the ride from Norristhorpe to Filey Brigg to thank Kirkwood Hospice for the care its nurses and volunteers gave her.

“She battled as long as she could,” he said. “For the last nine weeks she went to Kirkwood Hospice for pain relief and we were astonished at the care and support everyone was given there.

“They need £12,000 every day just to run the hospice so I decided there and then to do something in Sharon’s memory to raise some money.

“Hopefully I can do two or three things every year.”

Duncan’s 100-mile trek started out as a four-man bike ride, but as more and more people have got to hear about the challenge numbers have risen to 20 riders from all over North Kirklees, many of whom knew Sharon.

“The support and the commitment of all the people taking part has just been unbelievable,” he added.

The cycle, which Duncan hopes to complete in five hours, will take in all the spots Sharon liked to stop off at, up to her favourite Yorkshire holiday destination where she used to enjoy eating fish and chips in her caravan.

Duncan, 31, said he wanted to raise more than the daily cost to run the hospice for a day, and is already well on his way with £2,500 in donations.

Sharon was well known in her home town of Norristhorpe, where she opened her first child care centre before others in Roberttown and Mirfield.

Duncan, husband of Sharon’s daughter Rebecca, said: “She was involved in little bits of everything and was well known by all the local parents.

“There were nearly 800 people at her funeral when we managed to raise £15,000 for Kirkwood Hospice.”

Keen cycler Duncan is already planning a coast-to-coast ride to raise more money, but said he wanted do this smaller challenge first before the bad weather set in.

To donate in support of the 100-mile bike ride visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Just-Trays.