Cyclist hopes to 'raise a glass in memory of Keira' with five-day charity ride from Hillsborough to Hedingham
More than £4,000 in donations has poured in ahead of a cyclist’s five-day charity marathon, which hopes to serve as a fitting tribute to a young woman who died last year.
Tim Nash, 57, is preparing to cycle 190 miles from Hillsborough in Sheffield to The Bell Inn in Castle Hedingham, starting on Saturday, in memory of Hedingham resident Keira Dixon.
Keira was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014, aged 16, following an opticians exam at Wardale Williams Opticians, and she lost her battle with the disease in November.
Tim, a baker and former teacher, explained he came to know Keira working behind the bar at The Bell Inn during the annual beer festival.
Following her death, he was inspired to do the ride in aid of St Helena, the hospice which supported Keira and her family, and to spread the word about the Keira Campaign, a scheme launched by Wardale Williams in 2015 to raise awareness of the importance of eye exams.
He told the Free Press his initial goal was to raise £3,000, but now believes the donations total could top £5,000.
“The support has been utterly astonishing. I’m genuinely speechless about it,” said Tim, of Queens Street in Sible Hedingham.
“The idea behind the slogan, ‘raise a glass to Keira’, is linking to the pub, but it’s also an opportunity to remember her.
“There’s a phrase Keira said when she was very poorly, ‘just put one foot in front of the other’. If there’s one thing that’s inspired me, it’s that phrase.”
The journey will begin at Hillsborough stadium, where Tim will pick up a bottle of beer called The Wednesday, inspired by Keira’s support of Sheffield Wednesday.
He will then pass through Nottingham, Melton Mowbray, Peterborough, Cambridge and Haverhill, supported by Keira’s family and friends, visiting pubs and breweries on the way.
The ride will conclude on Wednesday, with the final leg setting off from Nethergate Brewery in Long Melford at about 4pm, to reach Castle Hedingham in time for the launch of The Bell Inn’s summer beer festival.