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Kent man takes on Coast to Coast challenge
Kent man takes on Coast to Coast challenge

A Romney Marsh man is taking on a Coast-to-Coast cycle challenge with three friends in memory of his son Charlie who died from leukaemia aged 10 five years ago.

Dave Grist, 56, will be cycling 137 miles from Whitehaven to Sunderland, a route which includes 12,000 ft elevation of gruelling hills. He is taking on the challenge with friends Alex Pollard, Mike Evans and Mark Thurlow, starting on June 28.

Dave said: ‘I’ve taken on several fundraising challenges in memory of Charlie, triathlons, a 100K walk – this is the latest one. His attitude was always ‘Just go for it, Dad’ and that is what I try to continue to do for him. He is always with me and around – I try to think of it as just a different relationship.’

‘The idea with the Coast-to-Coast challenge is to dip your rear wheel in the Irish Sea in Whitehaven and then your front wheel in the North Sea in Sunderland. We’ll be cycling through the Lake District and the Pennines so there are some gruelling hills, and added to that, we are staying two nights in hostels but will have to carry everything we need with us.’

‘So we have been training hard, but there’s also been a lot of discussion about what to take with us and how best to carry it on the bikes.’

David is Head of Finance and IT at Kent-based children’s charity Tree of Hope, and money raised from his cycle will go to the charity.

Tree of Hope helps families fundraise for children with healthcare needs where the NHS can’t support and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.

Tree of Hope CEO Becky Andrew said: ‘We wish Dave and his friends all the best for their impressive challenge and are, of course, very grateful that he has chosen to support us in this way.

To sponsor Dave, visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/david-grist-1717877224936

For more information about Tree of Hope, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/