Hartlepool Boots workers to get in the saddle for Zoe’s Place baby hospice

Middleton Grange Hartlepool Boots manager Gemma Hewitson and Mark Ranshaw of Skipper's Lane, Middlesbrough.
Middleton Grange Hartlepool Boots manager Gemma Hewitson and Mark Ranshaw of Skipper's Lane, Middlesbrough.

Charitable staff at a leading chemist chain are preparing to get on their bikes as part of a huge fundraising drive to raise £20,000 for sick children this week.

A team of riders from Boots is due to cycle to all 28 of the firm’s branches between Hartlepool and Stokesley over two days.

They include Gemma Hewitson, manager of the branch in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange centre, and they will set off on Thursday morning from the store on Anchor Retail Park.

There will also be lots of fundraising activities going on within the store that customers can get involved in and support.

Proceeds from the fundraiser, together with match funding from Boots, will go to Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.

It provides palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants aged from birth to five years suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Gemma said: “It is a massive target that we are trying to hit, about £20,000 over those two days.

“We are looking at about a 70-mile bike ride when we will cycle to 28 stores in the Teesside North and South area.

“We will also be getting staff on exercise bikes and be having lots of fundraising activities in stores.”

Individual stores hope to raise at least £1,000 each and there will also be raffles.

Xercise4less gym in Hartlepool is providing exercise bikes to the two Hartlepool branches.

The fundraiser is part of Zoe’s Place’s Tour De Branch challenge which invites businesses to organise sponsored cycles

The hospice stated: “The support you give will make a huge difference to our special babies and their families.”