Father’s cancer battle inspired Leeds woman’s Maggie’s bike ride

pedal power: Fundraisers Julie Benn and Andy Lindsay, who work for First Direct in Leeds.

pedal power: Fundraisers Julie Benn and Andy Lindsay, who work for First Direct in Leeds.

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A fundraising duo have completed a 208-mile Maggie’s to Maggie’s cycling challenge in a bid to boost plans for a new cancer support centre in Leeds.

Julie Benn and Andy Lindsay, who work for First Direct in Leeds, rode from Leeds St James’s Hospital to the Maggie’s cancer support centre at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital earlier this month.

They set off from the Leeds hospital as it has been earmarked to be the home for a new £5million support centre run by the charity.

It comes as the Yorkshire Evening Post’s ongoing A Million for Maggie’s campaign works with the charity to help raise a seven-figure sum to boost plans for what will be known as Maggie’s Yorkshire.

Julie was inspired to take on the two-day challenge as her father was battling cancer. He died two weeks before the ride.

“He was my hero and I miss him very much,” she said. “My dad couldn’t speak towards the end, but when I told him about the ride, that we wanted to raise funds to provide a Maggie’s centre for people like him, and that there were just the two of us doing it, he wrote ‘make sure you win’.”

The duo raised £2,180 for the charity while their employer, First Direct, has made Maggie’s its national charity partner.

As part of the partnership the First Direct Arena is the latest Leeds landmark to be included on the Maggie’s charity’s Culture Crawl night-time 10km city walk on Friday September 30.

It will also see sponsored participants get special access to the likes of the Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds, Leeds Town Hall, The Tetley and Holy Trinity Church.

Ben Feely, fundraising manager for Maggie’s Yorkshire, said: “As a charity, Maggie’s Yorkshire is reliant on donations to raise the £5m needed to bring the new Maggie’s Centre to Leeds, and deliver support to people affected by cancer and their family and friends across Yorkshire.”

Visit maggiescentres.org/millionformaggies or email ben.feely@maggiescentres.org for further information.

Lee Wilson and Becky Carroll, of Forward Leeds, with the Naloxone kits.

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