AN EMOTIONALLY-fuelled bike ride has raised a whopping £70,000 for a Warwick-based charity.
Some 47 pink-clad cyclists saddled up for the ride between York and Warwick to raise cash for Molly Ollys – set up in memory of school girl Molly who died from kidney cancer when she was just eight-years-old.
And it was an emotional moment for Molly’s parents Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw when they saw the cyclists coming over the finish line after a gruelling three days in the saddle, covering 185 miles.
Rachel told the Observer: “It was very emotional for Tim and I seeing the cyclists in their Molly Olly pink tops ride in together to the finishing point to huge applause and a great welcome from family and friends. Knowing why we were there and what everyone has achieved, the difference that it will make for the children we support is truly humbling.”
The cycle ride had duel purpose as it also marked ten years since the charity was set up to help children with life-limiting illnesses. While York was chosen as the starting point for the ride as it was one of the last places the family visited before Molly died in 2011.
Karen Robbins – one of the cyclists who took part – lost her daughter Leanne eight years ago to cancer.
She said: “I’m not great at words, but I would just like to say how humbling and special the weekend was, I still can’t believe we did it. It was a tough weekend on the hills, but we remember the tough, painful times the kids go through without complaining at the end of their very short lives. Everyone was amazing, there was lots of laughter and lots of tears… brings so many memories of my Leanne.”
Rachel added: “We decided to do this cycle event in 2022 to celebrate ten years of Molly’s legacy. What a ride it was. It far exceeded our expectations on so many levels. This was a phenomenal team effort with so many highlights. The camaraderie between all the riders and support team made it a unique and very special few days.
“It was certainly a challenge, but all the riders faced every day head on and looked out for each other and helped their team of riders to complete each day. Thank you to everyone – riders, support team, friends, family and all those who have donated. All the cyclists should feel extremely proud.”
Over the ten years Molly Ollys has been going, the charity has helped more than 16,000 children – directly and indirectly – through delivering wishes, its Olly The Brave therapeutic toy lion and books and bespoke projects with the NHS.
Molly’s dad, Tim said; “Each wish we do for a child costs around £500 so £70K is at least 140 wishes – that is 140 children that we can make smile and help make the dark days brighter. This money will help create happy memories for the families.”