Pedal power pays off for Hartlepool girl Poppy

From left, Gary Roberts, Keith Roberts, Dwane Douglas,  Poppy Wilkinson, George Bell, Lee Douglas, Billy Lloyd, Carl Monsen.
From left, Gary Roberts, Keith Roberts, Dwane Douglas, Poppy Wilkinson, George Bell, Lee Douglas, Billy Lloyd, Carl Monsen.

Pedal power paid off after a group of friends raised more than £5,000 for a Hartlepool youngster.

Seven pals got on their bikes and completed a gruelling three-day cycle ride from Newcastle to Edinburgh Castle.

I can’t put into words how grateful we are for what they have done

The kind-hearted friends did it to make life more comfortable for four-year-old Poppy Rose Wilkinson, who was born with no left foot, and no toes on her right foot after problems during mum Kirby Hackworth’s pregnancy.

The bike ride, in September, was led by family friend Dwane Douglas who was joined on the 176-mile challenge by Gary Roberts, Keith Roberts, George Bell, Lee Douglas, Billy Lloyd and Carl Monsen.

Brian Minton was on hand in a support van.

The sponsorship has now all been collected and the money presented to Poppy.

It came to an impressive £5,003.

Dwane, who won Fundraiser of the Year in this year’s Pride of Hartlepool awards, earlier said: “The first day was a pleasure, the second day was gruesome and the third day was great, riding into Edinburgh.”

He added: “I’d like to thank family and friends, especially Monsen builders, TIA Haulage, Grab n Go, CBL And Niramax for their kind donations.”

The money will go to Poppy’s Appeal which will help Poppy get quicker treatment when she needs it.

She developed amniotic band syndrome, where fibres in the womb wrap around limbs and cut off the blood flow.

Although she has a prosthetic foot, her leg will continue to grow as she does, meaning she will need numerous operations to shave the bone.

The fund will help Poppy to be able to go private so that she does not spend any longer than necessary in a wheelchair and out of school.

Poppy’s grateful grandmother Jenny Berry, 46, previously said of the lads’ fundraising: “It means so much to us. I can’t put into words how grateful we are for what they have done.

“The money they raised will make a massive difference to Poppy’s life and her development.”