Hayfield siblings pedal to Paris to raise £2,000 for new cancer treatment centre serving High Peak

A pair of young Hayfield siblings have raised more than £2,000 for the campaign to build a new cancer treatment centre serving High Peak.

Hayfield Primary School pupils Ollie and Martha Cottam each pedalled an exercise bike for 14 kilometres a day during February – the equivalent of the 761 km between their home and Paris

Mum Hannah said: “They’d been at home since December 18 and the news of the third lockdown was really crushing, so this gave them a focus and a chance to do something for other people.

“They found it difficult to get back in the saddle every day, there were some sore legs, but they never complained.”

Martha and Ollie Cottam.

The youngsters wanted to support a local cause related to cancer care after their granddad, Harold, died from the disease, and chose the Christie at Macclesfield project which aims to bring essential services closer to patients’ homes in northwest Derbyshire and Cheshire.

Ollie, 11, said: “We really enjoyed raising so much cash for such a good cause, and it's been great to have so many people supporting us as we go along.”

Martha, eight, added: “It was been brilliant to ride every day knowing it's for such a good cause, we are really proud.”

They were spurred on by support from friends, family and neighbours in the village who have experience of Christie cancer care.

Some patients must currently travel more than two hours each way for treatment at the NHS trust’s main hospital site in Manchester, adding to an already stressful situation.

Hannah said: “We’ve been so impressed by the donations. People have been unbelievable generous.

“The messages from current Christie patients, and those who had loved ones cared for there, have been really heart-warming, and gave Ollie and Martha that extra bit of motivation.”

The £26million treatment centre at Macclesfield is expected to make life easier for more than 1,500 patients across 40,000 appointments every year.

Building work has been delayed by the pandemic but it could be up and running by early 2022.

Once open, it will deliver easier access to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, holistic support and information services, outpatient care, palliative care and clinical trials.

For details of how to support the appeal, go to www.christies.org/macclesfield.

To donate to Martha and Ollie’s fundraising total, go to https://bit.ly/3vdzWW5.