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Essex charity cycle challenge on course to raise £30,000

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More than 600 cyclists took to the Essex countryside on Sunday, 3 September to help raise money for children’s charity Action Medical Research.

Participants in the ‘Essex 100’ were given the chance to ride either 40, 60 or 101 mile circular routes which took them from Central Park, Chelmsford through Barnston, Great Dunmow and out towards Sudbury.

Community Fundraising Manager for the region Lucy Hynes said: “It was a great day and a delight to see so many people turning up and having fun.

“But the real bonus was getting to see young Aiden and his parents who helped cheer on the riders and hand out medals at the finish line.” 

When he was born, Aiden (who is now three) suffered from a shortage of oxygen and for the first few hours his parents Keith and Fleur Mitchell didn’t know whether he had survived.

He was whisked away to the intensive care unit where the team began to reduce his body temperature to protect him from brain damage, a process known as cooling therapy. This breakthrough therapy is the product of a 20-year programme of research to which Action Medical Research contributed.

Aiden’s Mum Fleur says the family likes to support Action whenever they can: “It’s just such a wonderful charity and we’ll forever be grateful for the research that Action helped fund.

“We live in Witham and so the ‘Essex 100’ is very much a local event for us – Aiden had an absolute blast and really enjoyed an opportunity to let loose in the skate park afterwards!”

The event’s been running for seven years but was based in Chelmsford’s Central Park for the first time.

Ali Naqvi, Chief Marketing Officer for Chelmsford City Council said: “It was an honour to have Action Medical Research host its ‘Essex 100’ in Chelmsford for the first time in three years. We’re so pleased with the turnout and what it achieved for the charity and we can’t wait until next year!”

The annual ’Essex 100’ was this year sponsored by Kelvedon-based company The Knight Group, who fielded a team of 12.

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 conditions including asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, meningitis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.


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Around 1,300 babies develop a life-threatening brain condition called neonatal encephalopathy, or NE, each year in the UK,1,2

NE affects newborn babies in the first hours or days of life, often with devastating results. Sadly, many babies with NE lose their lives and those who survive can develop serious lifelong problems such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, learning difficulties and deafness.

Cooling a baby’s temperature down by 3°C for three days – starting as soon as possible after birth – improves their chances of surviving and escaping disability.


1. Lee ACC et al. Intrapartum-related neonatal encephalopathy incidence and impairment at regional and global levels for 2010 with trends from 1990. Pediatric Research 2013; 74: 50-72.

2. Office for National Statistics. Annual Mid-year Population Estimates, 2011 and 2012. Website accessed 7 October 2014.

For more information on Action Medical Research, contact Peter Denton, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
T: 01403 327480

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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For 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.