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BRANSTON MAN TO TAKE PART IN FOOTBALL FUNDRAISER IN MEMORY OF DAUGHTER MEL

10 May 2017

A Branston cyclist is kicking off the challenge of a lifetime this weekend in memory of his football mad daughter which ends in August at the Pirelli Stadium.

A Branston cyclist is kicking off the challenge of a lifetime this weekend in memory of his football mad daughter which ends in August at the Pirelli Stadium.

Ian Leech is cycling to 30 football clubs in the Midlands and beyond as a tribute to his daughter Mel who would have celebrated her 30th birthday this year.

Mel died aged 20 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2008 and since then Ian, who is community engagement manager for St Giles Hospice, has raised thousands of pounds for charity in her memory.

Mel’s 30 starts on Sunday with a ride of 85 miles to Wolves, West Bromwich Albion, Halesowen and finishes up at Walsall.

Ian said: “Mel was a huge football fan and so many of the grounds I’ll be visiting are ones we went to together, so I’m sure there will be lots of happy and emotional moments along the way.

“I’ll be tackling the rides, which totals more than 600 miles on nine days, finishing off with the last ride from Anfield, home of Liverpool via Everton then back to Burton Albion on the first Saturday home fixture of next season.

“Mel was a huge Liverpool fan which caused some healthy rivalry as I am an Everton fan, but we both loved watching Burton Albion play, which was a good compromise and will be a fitting finish to the ride.”

Ian, who is fundraising for St Giles Hospice, regularly supports people affected by bereavement and grief as part of his work in community engagement and shares his experiences of the impact of Mel’s.

“It’s incredibly important that as a community, we give people dealing with bereavement and loss the support that they need, at home, in the community and at work,” said Ian.

“At St Giles, we provide a ‘safety net’ for people through our Bereavement Help Points and our work with schools, organisations and communities to encourage open conversations about death and dying.

“Mel dying has had a massive effect on our family and we live with the impact of that every day.

“I hope the Mel’s 30 ride and sharing our story will not only raise money for St Giles, but will also raise awareness of the impact of bereavement and the support that’s available for people who are grieving.”

St Giles spends over £9 million a year providing its specialist services and with little more than a third of this funded by the Government, the registered charity relies heavily on donations and income generation from the local community.

For more information on the support St Giles offers visit www.stgileshospice.com.


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