Will’s power for charity challenge

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A LOVING grandson braved a tough bike ride in memory of his great-grandmother.

Will Farnaby, 11, who lost his great-grandmother Gwen Blackburn to cancer in 2007, rode 7.2 miles through Hamsterly Forest in Durham, all in the name of charity.

The active youngster rode to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Trust, the two charities that provided care for her throughout her illness, and fulfilled a long-held desire by doing so.

Will, who lives with parents Craig and Tracy in Honiton Way, Hartlepool, said: “Marie Curie and Macmillan really looked after her and I wanted to repay them for all their help.”

Dad Craig, 45, said: “It was something that he’s always wanted to do. From being nine years old he’s always wanted to do it in memory of his great-nana and give something back to the organisations that looked after her.”

Will, who will start at Manor College of Technology in September after leaving Fens Primary School, single-handedly raised around £200, which will be split between the two charities.

The ride itself took place on the Hamsterly Forest’s Black Trail, described as “the most strenuous and technically challenging cross-country waymarked trail”.

Craig, a community leisure centre manager for Stockton Borough Council, said: “It was really gruelling for myself, let alone for an 11-year-old. I’ve been cycling a lot longer than he has and I was shattered.”

But the father-and-son duo successfully finished the tough course in just over two and a half hours, and were welcomed across the line by a noisy support.