Mum's charity cycle through each town

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR has undertaken a marathon 5,000 mile charity cycle ride to visit every town and village in Suffolk.

John Howard

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR has undertaken a marathon 5,000 mile charity cycle ride to visit every town and village in Suffolk.

Nina Wilson, 60, who lives in Leiston, set out in August 2007 on a challenge to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) by cycling to every community in Suffolk.

Since then Mrs Wilson has visited around 600 villages, cycled nearly 5,000 miles, and raised more than £2,000 for the charity.

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She started cycling to communities near her home, including Snape and Southwold and then as she ventured further started staying away overnight, refusing to use any other form of transport to help her on her epic journey.

Her final destination yesterday was right in the middle of Suffolk at the aptly-titled World's End Farm, near Stowmarket.

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Mrs Wilson, a keen cyclist who has not owned a car for ten years, wanted to support a local charity that worked with youngsters. She would be out on her bike up to four times a week for the challenge.

She said “I've really enjoyed myself. I've seen some beautiful parts of the county that I may never have seen otherwise, and I'm thrilled to have raised so much for such a deserving charity.

“I enjoyed every moment of it, despite the British weather. I started off just wanting to enjoy my bike and to get round and explore Suffolk and got hooked.”

Mrs Wilson, who is married to Leiston High School technician Ted, 64, now plans to cycle to every village and town in Norfolk.

But for Norfolk, famous for life being slightly more leisurely than in Suffolk, she plans to take five years over her next challenge, lingering longer in the communities she visits.

Rachel Wright, a spokeswoman for EACH, said “This is an incredible achievement. We want to congratulate Nina and thank her so much for her ongoing support.”

EACH provides care and support for both the children with life threatening illnesses and their families, in their own homes as well as at the charity's hospices based at Ipswich, Quidenham and Milton in Cambridge.

Some children may only have a very short time to live, perhaps only weeks or months, others may reach early adulthood but the organisation's aim is always the same, to enhance their quality of life and support their family.

This year it is anticipated that it will cost around £5.5 million to run all three hospice services, and approximately 75% of this will come from voluntary donations.

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