Jonathan saddles up for charity ride

A MORPETH man will once again use pedal power to raise money for charity.

Jonathan Epworth is taking part in the gruelling 150-mile Marie Curie Cancer Care Coast to Coast cycle ride from Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria to Sandsend in North Yorkshire for the third year in a row.

The event, organised by the Purple Mountain organisation, will run over three days in June.

Riders will be expected to cycle for about six hours the first day, seven hours on the second and eight hours for the final leg.

Mr Epworth did the first two rides in memory of his grandfather, who died of cancer when he was a child, and this year he is dedicating it to his father-in-law Nick Stawart, who passed away in October following a short illness.

“The ride is really hard work, but I get a strong sense of fulfilment when I complete it because I’m helping people who are suffering from terminal cancer to receive the care and support they need,” said Mr Epworth.

“Being a keen cyclist, I wanted to get on my bike to raise money for charity and this particular challenge is 70 per cent off road. We travel on tracks, through woods and across fields, which makes it more interesting than many other rides.

“I’ve already raised more than £100 so far, which is an unexpected bonus, so hopefully I will collect another decent total.

“My father-in-law was very well known in Morpeth for his auctioneering and his own charity work over the years. He was very proud of me when I did my first Coast to Coast challenge and afterwards I vowed that I would keep on completing the annual ride until my legs seize up.”

The Northgate resident is Manager of the Leeds Building Society’s Blyth branch and his employer will match a large percentage of the fund-raising total.

Those who want to make a donation can do so by going to any of the society’s 11 North East branches, including Morpeth, or by visiting www.justgiving.com/jonathan-epworth2012