Grantham riders rise to the challenge for Naomi Fund

Riders who took part in The Naomi Fund Bike Challenge.
Riders who took part in The Naomi Fund Bike Challenge.

More than 20 cyclists conquered a London to Grantham challenge at the weekend in aid of the Naomi Fund.

The cyclists started off at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital and made their way to Peterborough, where they stayed overnight before finishing the final leg to Grantham on Sunday.

Time to celebrate. Riders in the Naomi Fund Bike Challenge are welcomed back to Grantham.

Time to celebrate. Riders in the Naomi Fund Bike Challenge are welcomed back to Grantham.

The ride, which is organised every two years, raises money for the Naomi Fund charity in memory of Grantham girl Naomi Fardell, who was born with congenital heart problems and died at the age of two- and- a-half in 2000.

Proceeds from the ride go to Great Ormond Street, Heartlink at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester and Kingfisher Ward at Grantham Hospital, where Naomi was treated.

The weekend ride was organised by Nathan Smith and was preceded by another fund-raising cycle ride the previous weekend from London to Paris. It is hoped that ride, organised by Mark Angeloni, will raise up to £18,000 for the Naomi Fund.

Naomi’s father, Dean, who took part in the London to Grantham challenge, said: “It was a fantastic weekend and we had a great reception at the Guildhall when we got back. We want this to be a sort of challenge for everyone but also a bit of fun.

Glad to be home. Riders in the Naomi Fund Bike Challenge are welcomed back at the finish.

Glad to be home. Riders in the Naomi Fund Bike Challenge are welcomed back at the finish.

“We had a lot of local support again. It was an overwhelming response.”

The riders were presented with special shirts before the ride from Rugby Union star Joe Gray, who plays for Harlequins.

The shirts were sponsored by AW Accident Repair Centre and the cyclists had a back-up van provided by Limesquare vehicle rentals.

Vacu-Lug and Lloyds TSB also gave their support, as did some schools including West Grantham Academy with a non-uniform day.

Coming home. Riders in the Naomi Find Bike Challenge reach the finish outside the Guildhall in Grantham.

Coming home. Riders in the Naomi Find Bike Challenge reach the finish outside the Guildhall in Grantham.

The group enjoyed a celebratory evening at the Eden House Hotel.

A final total of the amount raised by the challenge will be known soon.

Coming home. Riders in the Naomi Find Bike Challenge reach the finish outside the Guildhall in Grantham.

Coming home. Riders in the Naomi Find Bike Challenge reach the finish outside the Guildhall in Grantham.

Dean Fardell and young cyclist after the Naomi Fund Bike Challenge.

Dean Fardell and young cyclist after the Naomi Fund Bike Challenge.