Cycle from Catterick to Help the heroes

Rosie O'Connell by the Help for Heroes statue
Rosie O'Connell by the Help for Heroes statue

A 28-year-old charity worker raised in Ripon will be embarking on a 300-mile bike ride in order to raise money for the charity, Help for Heroes.

Rosie O’Connell, 28, North Stainley, will ride from Catterick to Windsor in the hope of raising at least £1000 for the charity that helps injured and affected ex-servicepeople.

The cycle route, known as the North 300 will depart from Catterick on Wednesday June 17 and will arrive in Windsor on Sunday Jun 21.

Rosie said: “As a charity it is good for us to go and do some ground work and meet the people that the charity helps. When you’re working for a charity it is so easy to get swept up in the admin side of things and itwill be really nice to go and connect with the people we help.”

Rosie has worked for Worldwide Volunteering which works alongside Help for Heroes, for nearly 18 months and describes her job there as “a real wake up call”.

She said: “My family has a military background, nearly all my uncles and grandfathers have served in the forces and my father is currently serving as a Major in the Royal Engineers.”

So far Rosie has raised £600 in sponsorship of her cycling challenge. However, she hopes to make up the rest of the money needed to meet her target on Thursday June 11 at the rugby game between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford.

The team has agreed to let Rosie come with one of the heroes from Help for Heroes and a fancy dress mascot to raise even more awareness about the good cause and to encourage people at the game to donate.

She is very grateful to the club, who’s charity, The Leeds Rhino’s Foundation has already pledged £100 for her bike ride fundraising. The North 300 is part of a bigger cycle route, called the North 450, which departs from Edinburgh on Mon June 15 and travels to Catterick to pick up more cyclists before continuing on to Windsor.

In training for the journey, Rosie has been cycling between 100 and 200 miles a week to prepare herself for the challenge.

Alongside Rosie there will also be other charity staff, members of the community who are involved with the charity or just support it, and around 100 injured veterans who have been supported by Help for Heroes, participating in the ride.

When the cyclists reach their final destination in Windsor they will be given a ‘heroes welcome’ as well as celebrating with refreshments, entertainment and live music for everyone invoved in anyway to enjoy.

People will be encouraged to support the charity once more with a final opportunity to make donations at the finish line celebrations.

If you would like to show your support for the Help for Heroes charity visit http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk or to donate to Rosie’s fundraising ride, visit www.justgiving.com/Rosie-O-Connell/