Coast to Coast in aid of charities

ALL SET: Hartlepool volunteer RNLI crew members taking part in the Coast-to-Coast cycle ride are (left to right) Mike Craddy, Matt Blanchard, Tom Collins, Andy Johnson, Robbie Maiden and Darren Killick. Not pictured, Matt Adams
ALL SET: Hartlepool volunteer RNLI crew members taking part in the Coast-to-Coast cycle ride are (left to right) Mike Craddy, Matt Blanchard, Tom Collins, Andy Johnson, Robbie Maiden and Darren Killick. Not pictured, Matt Adams

AWARD-WINNING lifesavers are preparing to take on a gruelling charity challenge - a 143 mile Coast-to-Coast bike ride.

Six volunteer crew members from Hartlepool RNLI are aiming to complete the cycling challenge in aid of two deserving charities.

They are Robbie Maiden, Andy Johnson, Darren Killick, Matt Adams, Matt Blanchard and Tom Collins and all the sponsorship will be going to Hartlepool RNLI and the stroke unit at Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees.

The group will set out from Workington on Saturday, May 4, stopping overnight at Penrith and Stanhope on the way, before arriving in Sunderland on Monday, May 6.

Hartlepool RNLI operations manager Mike Craddy, who is driving the support vehicle, said: “I’m going along just in case of mishaps with the bandages and ointment.”

Andy Johnson said: “The lads have been training hard and we are really looking forward to it, albeit with a bit of trepidation.”

Tom Collins, the Mail’s chief photographer, said: “We are all very grateful for the sponsorship we have received so far and I would urge people to dig deep because these are two really good causes.”

Hartlepool RNLI were awarded a Pride of Britain Award and a Hartlepool Mail Pride of Hartlepool Emergency Services Award after a daring rescue of a teenager stuck in the sand at Seaton Carew beach.

To sponsor the volunteers visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/hartlepoollifeboatcrew or call Andy Johnson on 07429705019 or Hartlepool Lifeboat Station on (01429) 266103.