Relatives of Hartlepool’s ‘little princess’ raise over £3,500 in her memory

From left Amy Thompson, Mark Bell and George Bell
From left Amy Thompson, Mark Bell and George Bell
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Relatives of Hartlepool’s ‘little princess’ have raised over £3,500 between them in tiring fundraisers that saw them go the extra mile.

Becky’s uncle George Bell, 57, and her cousin Amy Thompson, aged 13, both took it upon themselves to complete challenges to raise money for a family-run charity in her memory.

Amy Thompson, 13, during her spinathn marathon

Amy Thompson, 13, during her spinathn marathon

She tragically died aged just seven in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer the previous year.

George raised an amazing £3,416 after he successfully cycled 460 miles from John O’Groats in Scotland back home to Hartlepool.

And Amy, who attends Manor Community Academy, made £220 by doing a marathon spinathon session over three hours at Brierton Community Sports Centre.

The money will go to the website Keep Smiling For Becky started by Becky’s mum Julie Bell that provides financial support to families of children with serious illness.

I think they are absolutely fantastic for what they have done

Julie Bell

Julie said: “I think they are absolutely fantastic for what they have done, we are over the moon with them.

“George doing a bike ride over 460 miles was just amazing.

“Amy was really close to Becky. They were cousins but they were more like sisters.”

George pedalled the epic distance single-handed.

He was due to be joined by friend Andrew Carey, who raised a good slice of the final sponsorship, but unfortunately had to pull out due to medical reasons.

George was supported on route by his son David Bell who took a week off work and drove a support van kindly provided by George’s neighbour and haulage firm boss Terry Ryan.

Another bit of bad luck struck when thieves stole George’s bike shortly before he was due to start the challenge.

He said: “The new bike I had was a bit big and had a raised seat which caused a problem in both Achilles.

“I changed the seat but for the damage was done and for four and a half days after I was in a lot of pain.

“I was having my legs in ice every night. At one point I thought ‘I’m not going to do this’ because they were hurting that much.

“But I just thought of our Becky and she kept me going.”

George had previously completed a couple of coast to coast rides but admitted he is not a regular cyclist.

He cycled up to 90 miles a day during July’s challenge.

“I’m not the fittest bloke in the world so it took a lot of training to get me feeling OK,” he said.