FOUR amateur cyclists from Yate are to ride from England to Ireland in a cross country four-day cycle to raise funds for four charities close to their hearts.

Brothers Mark and Chris Thorne will join Andy Gittins and Rich Hext in a 260mile cycle from Yate to Dublin raising money for Young Lives V Cancer, Dementia UK St Peter’s Hospice and the Harvey Hext trust.

The team starting riding during lockdown in a bid to raise their fitness levels but decided to embark on the charity cycle to raise money for charities after realising they all had personal reasons for doing so.

Grandad-of-two Mark Thorne, has chosen to raise funds for Young Lives V Cancer after the nephew of a close friend was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, only two days after his second birthday.

Mark said: “Ellis developed a limp, he then got a few minor nosebleed and began to bruise easily- luckily a doctor at Yate Minor Injury unit recognised the severity of the symptoms and the child was sent immediately to Bristol’s Children’s Hospital.

“I want to raise the money to help these charities for children but also to raise awareness for parents that these dangerous diseases might present as something as small as a slight limp in a child.”

So far the team have raised over £1,500 of their original £2000 target.

The other charities were chosen, following the men's personal experiences. The Havery Hext Trust - A siblings wish was picked by Rich following the tragic loss of his nephew. The charity supply high quality, large, wooden, individual A4 personalised memory boxes to each bereaved sibling in the family. The memory boxes will hold the sibling's treasured items that can stay with them forever and continue to keep the child's memory alive for future generations

Chris chose St Peter's Hospice as his charity following the loss of a friend who was cared for at the charity that supports people with life limiting illnesses.

Chris Thorne said: “We started riding as a way of getting out the house on weekends to try and get fit, as we rode more frequently we decided to do it for charity and Dublin seemed like the perfect place to end up in. We hope people will get behind us and support these great charities.”

Fundraising links are available on the Facebook pages of each cyclist.