Staff at Axil Integrated Services are to complete a bike ride to raise money for Blood cancer UK in memory of Ava Grace, who ten years ago sadly passed away at just 10-months old.
Axil Site Manager Matt Clayton and Lee Turnbull started cycling six years ago, before deciding to ride for Blood cancer UK (previously Bloodwise).
Blood cancer is the UK’s third-biggest cancer killer, and the organisation aims to raise money to help fund research into all blood cancers, support patients, and save lives.
Initially completing a ride from Morcambe to Bridlington, the pair have previously raised money for the Blood cancer charity, in memory of Lee’s daughter.
5 years on, Matt and Lee will be joined by colleagues to cycle a new ‘Bridge to bridge’ route from the Northeast down to London to raise money in Ava’s name.Donate
“With Matt and I being keen cyclists, I thought what better way to challenge ourselves than to ride from one our biggest local landmarks, Teesside Transporter Bridge, to one of the country’s biggest at London bridge.
We have managed to get a great bunch of lads together to ride with us, all with varying cycling abilities. We all get along well and have supported each other on some tough training rides. The team has set a target to raise £5000 for the charity, which will hopefully help to prevent any other parent having to suffer the loss of their child to this cruel disease.
I know Ava will be sat at the top of a rainbow somewhere cheering us on every mile of the way, and hopefully, we will do her proud,” said Lee.
The challenging cycling schedule will span four days from 4th-7th August, and the team will cover over 320 miles.
Day 1 – 4th August from Middlesbrough to York – 73.1 miles
Day 2 – 5th August from York to Coningsby – 89.1 miles
Day 3 – 6th August from Coningsby to Bar Hill – 86.5 miles
Day 4 – 7th August from Bar Hill to London Bridge – 71.4 miles
In preparation, the team at Axil Integrated Services try to routinely get out together. However, due to work schedules, the team typically trains in smaller groups, two to three times a week, and covers over 100 miles.
The team consists of Matt Clayton, Site Manager for Axil Integrated Services along with Lee Turnbull, Simon Staples, Chris Johnson, Robert Lidell, Mark Ross, and Jonothan Knox. The team has a support vehicle driver, Lee’s father, Eddy Turnbull.
The cause has received support from local businesses in and around Hartlepool. One of the main even sponsors is local businesswoman Charlotte Jarpz, owner of Jarpz, an independent designer of custom cycling shoes.
Charlotte kindly painted a pair of custom-designed shoes for Ava’s father, Lee, and has donated a gift voucher for Axil to auction to raise additional funds for the cause.
In addition to the sponsorship provided by leading total waste management company, Axil Integrated Services, other sponsors are Hungry Tums, a local takeaway food business that is supplying the team with some snacks to keep them fuelled during the ride.
RJK cycles, a local independent bike servicing shop is also providing a full service of all the bikes before setting off on the journey, and Hilliers Jewellers has supplied a watch to be auctioned, with the money raised donated to Blood Cancer UK.
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