TV presenter and Action Ambassador Davina McCall has confirmed this year’s ‘Big Sussex Bike Ride’ as the “friendliest”.
In an Instagram post published shortly after the event on Sunday 10 June, the TV host said:
“Thank you @actionevents! So well put together! Definitely the friendliest ride! Everyone is so nice. I got a hug at the finish line off the most lovely lady called Pauline. It went on for ages and nearly made me a bit weepy! Well done to everyone who took part! We had a 14 year old and an 80 year old! See you next year!!!”
Davina has supported Action since she was a child, when her granny was an active fundraiser for the children’s charity.
More than 400 cyclists took part in the annual fundraiser, setting off and finishing at the idyllic East Sussex National Golf Club near Uckfield.
The 14-year-old that Davina referred to was Martha Hollamby from Battle.
The teenager rode the 68 mile ‘Champion’ route with her Mum Caroline and a group of her Mum’s friends who are all from Sussex.
“I’ve never cycled that far before” admitted the Robertsbridge Community College student. “But I’ve taken part in a few other sportives and ride with a local club so I felt quite confident taking on the challenge.”
Martha’s cousin Zara was born really premature at 23 weeks weighing just 1lb 3oz.; now three and half, Zara is a happy, healthy toddler who loves to run!
“Without the research and knowledge that is funded by charities like Action, babies born too soon or too sick would not do so well. Zara's story just shows how help can make a difference, helping her through to hospital discharge and beyond...for that, we are so thankful, every day.”
Funds are still being collected but it is estimated the total amount raised will be around £20,000.
Community Fundraising Manager for the South East Paula Ray says she was delighted with the turn out:
“I must echo Davina’s sentiments – this really was such a friendly event. All of the riders were in good spirits and enjoying themselves which helped make it such a fantastic atmosphere.
“I’d like to thank all of the volunteers who gave up their time to once again make this fundraiser possible. From the marshals out on the various routes, to those handing out the medals and refreshments… we honestly couldn’t do this without them. Thank you to everyone who was there on the day!”
Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.
The charity is currently funding research into areas including premature birth, epilepsy, asthma, scarlet fever, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
To download a photo of Davina at this year’s event:
To download a photo of Davina with Action volunteers:
To download a photo of Davina with riders:
To download photos of the event:
Please credit Lee Collier Photography
To download a photo of Martha at this year’s event:
To download a photo of Martha and her cousin Zara:
For more information on Action Medical Research contact Peter Denton, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For more than 65 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.
Join our fight for little lives today.
Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.