A MARRIED couple cycled across Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats to help fund Sussex’s only children’s hospice.
Grant (43) and Liz (41) Chatfield, parents to three children, from Hailsham joined three other cyclists including Mr Chatfield’s uncle Mick O’Rourke for the challenge.
It took the team 10 days to cycle 900 miles raising £7,121 for the Chestnut Tree House in Arundel.
They arrived just in time to see the Olympic flame fly off to Orkney.
Mum Liz Chatfield said: “It was very funny arriving at John O’Groats as the Olympic torch came to town. Like having a massive welcoming committee – until we realised it wasn’t for us.
“We met lovely people along the way and saw some mad things. On the road to Perth we were overtaken by a lone carnival float of The Cat in the Hat made entirely from tissue paper – it felt like exhaustion-induced hallucinations.”
The money raised will pay for the whole operation of Chestnut Tree House for one day – including specialist care for children and young people.
Despite being the only facility of its kind in the county, Chestnut Tree House receives just nine per cent of its costs from government. It relies almost solely on the generosity of the people of Sussex.
The other cyclists taking part were Dave Wells from Eastbourne, aged 43, and 43-year-old Julia Hook from Thame.
To encourage extra donations, Mrs Chatfield’s work colleagues at Mayo Wynne Baxter arranged a prize draw for everyone who used the team’s Just Giving site.
She added: “The whole team are very grateful to everybody who donated and so pleased to have beaten our fundraising target of £6k. Chestnut Tree is the most incredible place for kids.”
The cyclists funded all expenses of the trip and every penny went straight to Chestnut Tree House.
Other family members helped the team, with Mr Well’s wife Clare driving the support van and Mick O’Rourke’s wife Helen on lunches and ‘Deep Heat’ duty.
Chestnut Tree House in Arundel aims to provide the care and support families so desperately need, whether practical, physical or emotional, when a child suffers a life-limiting illness.