Firefighter cycles Length of Britain for MNDA in support of her father


Release date: 8 July 2021

Completing 500km of exercise during June has seen a West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service firefighter raise more than £5,000 for a cause close to her heart.

But this gruelling 30 day challenge was just the warm up act – as Littlehampton Red Watch Manager Beth Parry-Evans and her partner Joanna Heal have set off on a challenge to cycle the length of Britain in just 10 days. They are hoping to double their fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in the process.

Beth, who is also a retained firefighter at Shoreham, set off with partner Jo, from John O’Groats, the most northerly point of the British Isles on Monday, 5 July, and are already cycling their way down the length of the country. They are aiming to arrive into Land’s End on Friday, 16 July. They will be joined on parts of the challenge by a few friends, and anyone else who is willing to take part.

The challenge came about after Beth’s father Mike was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in August at the age of 75. This inspired Beth to find a way of supporting the charity that has already offered so much support and advice, and will hopefully one day help find a cure.

Beth said: “I am really excited to be taking on this challenge and raise awareness of the fantastic work that the Motor Neurone Disease Association carries out into the research of this debilitating condition.

“Dad has now lost the ability to speak, eats through a tube into his stomach, and now is at a stage where he struggles to hold his own head up. These are things we all take for granted and don’t think twice about.

“I know there is some fantastic work taking place to find a cure for this disease, and I am confident it will be found in my lifetime. The only way we can help them find that cure even faster is by setting ourselves this challenge that will hopefully inspire others to donate and ultimately raise as much money as possible to help them continue this lifechanging research.

“It is going to be an intense 10 days, during which we will be aiming to complete around 100 miles a day. We are certainly going to have our work cut out on the hills up in Scotland, and then again when we arrive in Cornwall. But we have been training hard, and the 30 day 500km challenge was a really good warm up for the road ahead.”

Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “Beth has already gone above and beyond to raise awareness and funds for MNDA during June, so to take on a challenge of such magnitude again already is an incredible testament to her strength and devotion. We are all incredibly proud of what she has achieved, and wish her the very best of luck in her next challenge.”

You can follow Beth’s progress on twitter at @betharoonie75 and you can support their fundraising here:

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