Cycle challenge raises £1,500

CHALLENGE: (l to r) Peter Jackson, Jill Jackson, Pamela Hargreaves. Jonathan Brash.
CHALLENGE: (l to r) Peter Jackson, Jill Jackson, Pamela Hargreaves. Jonathan Brash.

WEARY councillors are putting their feet up after completing a mammoth charity challenge which saw them cycle 250 miles across two countries in five days.

Labour councillors Jonathan Brash, Pamela Hargreaves and Peter Jackson cycled from York to Amsterdam to raise money and awareness of the Hartlepool Families First charity.

Peter’s wife Jill made up the four-strong team of cycling enthusiasts who took on the “Amsterslam” biking adventure in the pouring rain and driving wind.

In total the group is hoping to raise £1,500 in sponsorship and well-wishers can still donate.

Hartlepool Families First, which is based in Greatham Street, is a registered charity that works with children with disabilities in town.

It offers a range of projects including a PlayBus, HealthBus, an arts project and after school project.

Coun Hargreaves, a keen cyclist and chairman of the organisation, said: “I’m so proud of us all for completing such a long ride, particularly as 200 miles out of the 250 were cycled in the pouring down rain.

“It was the first time that I’ve done a ride as long as this and I’d like to thank everyone who has sponsored me and hope that people continue to donate as all of the money will go to support children and families in Hartlepool,” added the Owton ward councillor.

The kind-hearted fundraisers started their journey earlier this month in York and from there cycled the 40 miles to Hull where they then caught the overnight ferry to Rotterdam.

From there the cycled the 68 miles to Amsterdam, where they stayed for two nights in a hostel, before jumping back on their bikes and cycling all the way back again to York.

On the way back between Amsterdam and Rotterdam they say it rained for nine solid hours.

Coun Brash, 30, who represents the Burn Valley ward, said: “250 miles is a long way, especially through the wind and rain and I can’t pretend there weren’t moments when I wondered why on earth I had signed up for such a challenge.

“In the end though we managed it and I am really delighted with the money we have raised for Hartlepool Families First, which is a charity I am so proud to be involved in.

“Please if you want to help disabled and disadvantaged children you can still donate.”

Coun Jackson, 51, a project engineer who represents the Throston ward is married to Jill, 49, a risk manager for the NHS and the pair live in the Throston area.

The group drove to York and back and had a support car on hand during the challenge.

To sponsor the group visit the story on and follow the link.