A coffee morning or a cake sale would be enough for most pensioners wanting to do their bit for charity.
But not great-grandmother Edwina Sorkin, 68, and best friend Kate Sleath, 63, who are preparing to embark on an epic 8,500-mile journey from Yorkshire to Beijing.
The pair, who became close when they lived next door to one another in Wetherby, will drive through Eastern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia en route to China without any support.
The ‘Beijing Biddies’ aim to complete the challenge in 30 days and raise £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.
Ms Sorkin, a retired international Avon manager, was inspired to help the charities after her daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago in her mid-30s.
“She is a very inspirational young lady,” said the grandmother-of-five, who also lost her sister to the disease.Her attitude and her determination has been absolutely fantastic.
“As a mother you feel totally helpless, there is nothing you can do that’s tangible that can make it better, but obviously you give all the love and support. It is a terrible thing.” Ms Sorkin experienced the importance of Cancer Research UK’s work first-hand when her daughter took part in one of its clinical trials.
I’m so grateful as she remains extremely well and continues to lead a full life with a successful career,” she said. “We also wanted to donate half of the money to Macmillan Cancer Support, as cancer is one of the toughest fights anyone will face and the Macmillan teams are there to advise, care and support people through the terrible trauma of this disease.”
The causes are also close to Ms Sleath’s heart, having lost her favourite aunt to the disease and watched it claim the life of a close friend’s 23-year-old son.
For more information, to make a donation or to find out how you can support Edwina and Kate visit: www.beijingbiddies.co.uk