On Friday 8th June, 23 riders set out on the St Anne’s Bike Ride, crossing England from Half Moon Bay near Morecambe to Spurn Point in Hull in an effort to raise funds for the Wilmslow primary school’s PTA.
This year there were more riders than ever before taking part in what has become an annual event in the PTA’s calendar.
Riders are supported by man-with-a-van Sean, following closely behind with supplies and spare parts.
The team included six husband and wife couples, the school’s chair of governors, co-chair and treasurer of the PTA as well as five former parents whose children are now at Wilmslow High School.
Riders meet all associated costs of the ride themselves – including accommodation, food and the van – so that every penny raised goes to supporting the primary school.
Most also use up annual leave from their workplaces on order to take part, and some riders even invested in new bikes especially for the ride.
This year the school is aiming to finish resurfacing its Peace Garden and has already completed two thirds of the work using funds jointly raised by the PTA, the school and Co-op Community Fund.
With any additional funds after the resurfacing is complete, they will next start saving for new large outdoor play equipment which will require a spend of £10,000-£15,000.
The school’s previous climbing frame was installed on the current headteacher’s first day at the school back in 2004.
It was much loved by the children, but had to be dismantled in January as it had reached the end of its lifespan.
Headteacher Clare Daniel commented: “We are so grateful for the amazing support of the St Anne’s community in taking on another bike ride, especially one as tough as this.
“Our PTA do amazing work fundraising throughout the year which helps the school to pay for opportunities and items that we could not afford on our own.
“Our children benefit from a specialist music teacher, subsidised coach costs to the theatre and other venues, Education City to support learning at home, and large donations to support Science Week and Global Week all via donations from the PTA, as well as donations to each class and the school on a termly basis.”
She continued: “It says so much about the caring and generous nature of our school community, that we have parents whose children have long moved up to Wilmslow High School who are keen to continue supporting and fundraising for the children currently in the school.
“I am so proud of everyone taking part and will be tweeting their journey at @stannesfulshaw #StAnnesBikeRide for the three days that they are en route.”
In previous years the riders have tackled other coast to coast routes, and some have also taken on a Land’s End to John O’Groats ride to raise money for the PTA.
Two years ago the school was able to use the funds raised by previous bike rides, along with donations from parents and Egg Homes, to build a new library which was opened as part of the school’s 140th anniversary celebrations.
The training rides this year have been exceptionally challenging from the start as the coast to coast route is 190 miles long with 7,000ft of climbing over the three days.
Riders have been out training at weekends and during the week since mid-winter and have frequently pedalled into the Peak District, to Delamere and as far north as Wigan, as well as doing individual rides during the holidays to keep their miles up.
The PTA’s donation page can be found at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/halfmoon/460617 and although the original target of £5,000 has already been raised everyone involved is keen to keep going as it will enable St Anne’s to make a great start on fundraising for the new play equipment.