Cathy cooks up a formidable coast to coast cycle challenge

A partner at a leading Yorkshire law firm is cycling 135 miles across the North Pennines from St Bees in Cumbria to Roker on the East Coast, over four days in memory of her gran and the event will be a true family affair.

Cathy Cook, who works within LCF Law’s corporate division, hopes to raise £5,000 for three charities – The Alzheimer’s Society, Place2Be – which is a charity that helps children with mental health issues – and Leeds Community Foundation – which supports thousands of charities and voluntary groups by distributing grants and sharing advice.

Cathy will be accompanied on the challenge by her husband, father, brother, three daughters, two nieces, three uncles, nine cousins and five second cousins.  Cathy said: “To say that we have differing fitness levels is an understatement! One uncle is 85, three cyclists are in their 70’s and six are teenagers.  My Canadian uncle decided after riding the same bike for 40 years that his saddle wasn’t very comfortable and has designed and built his own rather unique solution, which we hope will do the trick! One of my cousins hadn’t ridden a bike outside until last week, but after her first track session, she soon realised the benefits of padded shorts for a challenge like this!

“It’s a real family affair and we all wanted to raise money in memory of my gran, who suffered from mental health issues throughout most of her adult life, but still provided support to all of her friends and family.  One of my cousins is a social worker and my experience as a school governor led us to also raising money for Place2Be. The charity provides emotional and therapeutic services in schools helping children to cope with wide-ranging and complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.

“We chose the Alzheimer’s Society because of the experience of a close friend. Her Mum was an academic at Durham University, who also worked as a counsellor and play therapist, as well as spending a lot of time in Kenya training people to provide counselling to orphans who have lost one or more parents through HIV and Aids infection. She now has early onset of Alzheimer’s. We all wanted to support this charity, which does invaluable work.

“We have a target of £5,000 and the oldest rider of the whole 135 miles is my uncle, who is 73, and the youngest is my eldest daughter, who is 18. On the final day we will be joined by my Dad, who is 75, and another uncle, who is 84, together with my other daughters and nieces, who are aged 13 and 15. Other family and friends will also be cycling the final few miles and offering their support and encouragement.