Foot power to help sick children

CYCLISTS and walkers took to a Suffolk forest to raise thousands of pounds for seriously ill children.It is expected that about £3,000 will be made from the first Ride for Life event in Suffolk and now the organisers are hoping it will become an annual fundraiser.

CYCLISTS and walkers took to a Suffolk forest to raise thousands of pounds for seriously ill children.

It is expected that about £3,000 will be made from the first Ride for Life event in Suffolk and now the organisers are hoping it will become an annual fundraiser.

The Ride for Life was hosted by the East Anglian Daily Times and East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) on forest tracks at Rendlesham, near Woodbridge.

Cyclists could complete an 11-mile route while there was a six mile route for walkers and joggers.


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Fiona Ottery, secretary of EACH Ipswich Friends Group, said: ''We had over 100 cyclists and walkers covering the routes. There were a few blisters and stiff legs but the St John Ambulance and a reflexologist, who gave her services free, were on hand.''

She said a couple of children from the Ipswich hospice supported the ride and she thanked Forest Enterprise for allowing the event to take place.

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The hospices in Ipswich, Milton, Cambridgeshire and Quidenham, Norfolk, care for people up to the age of 21 who have life threatening or limiting conditions and it is now becoming increasingly common that children who are terminally ill will spend the last phase of their life in a hospice rather than in hospital.

A total of 270 sick children were helped during 2002-03 and EACH is seeking about £4m to continue its work in 2004.

Robin Sharp, EACH's community fundraising coordinator, said it was vital for people to continue to support money-raising activities. The difference the hospices could make to families and the quality of life for children was phenomenal, he said.

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