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Final destination in sight for Ben’s static cycle challenge

Final destination in sight for Ben’s static cycle challenge

The 11-year-old boy who has been going the distance on a static bicycle to raise funds for the local air ambulance – in memory of his great- grandmother from Matlock – will complete his challenge tomorrow.

Ben Hunter hopes to have raised £1,700 – the cost of a mission flown by Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA).

His great-grandmother, Joyce Wilmot, sadly passed away on 19 April and due to Coronavirus and lockdown, he wasn’t able to attend her funeral – at which she had requested donations be made to the charity.

Ben has put the static bike in the garden to use and, as this challenge was about his great-grandmother, he has been ‘cycling’ from his home in Inverness to hers in Matlock – a total of 682km.

To date, he had completed over 600km and will embark on the final stretch tomorrow (Thursday 28 May).

Ben’s Mum, Wendy has been plotting his route on a map and says: “He is doing marvellously, in fact on his virtual journey he is currently near Leeds and now faces the last push to Matlock. He put in a massive effort and clocked up 100km on Saturday alone! His final cycle is tomorrow and there will be a few of us cheering him over the finish line – we are all so proud.”

Ben says he has kept motivated by “the thought of making people happy at such a sad time. And all the messages of support have been great, I can’t believe how much has been donated, thank you to everyone who has, it means so much.

He adds: “I’m really hoping we can now raise the £1,700 as that will pay for a whole mission. I think that would have made great-grandma very happy.”

Ben started his challenge on Monday 11 May and a little over two weeks later he is now on the final stretch to complete the 682km journey to his late great-grandmother’s house!

“It has been hard but good. It has been a bit uncomfortable but my dad bought me some padded cycling shorts. Sometimes it’s hard to start but once you get going it is ok. I’ve been watching videos to keep me occupied and that has helped,” he explains.

DLRAA Legacies and In Memory Manager, Chloe Bass adds, “Ben is doing fantastically and all of us here at the charity have been cheering him on. Cycling 682km on an exercise bike is a fantastic achievement and completing 100km in one day shows great determination and strength; I’m sure that his great-grandma would be very proud.

“Ben is close to reaching his new target of £1,700, the cost of a lifesaving mission, and we are all supporting him in the final push to cross the finish line.”

Ben has already raised over £1,600 and hopes to reach his target for the lifesaving service, which relies on public donations to remain operational.

To help Ben on his final stretch, visit his JustGiving page here