A GROUP of friends are planning to cycle 140 miles across the width of England to raise money for St Rocco’s Hospice.

Anthony Woodcock, from Appleton lost a close family member to stage four lung cancer in December and is determined to give something back for the incredible care St Rocco’s provided.

The challenge is in memory of Anthony’s mum’s partner John who was also very close to Anthony’s friends and team members.

This year’s Coast2Coast Challenge which will see them cycle 140 miles from Whitehaven in Cumbria all the way to Whitley Bay.

In May, John was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and although he fought through six rounds of chemotherapy, he passed away on December 5.

John was cared for, and sadly died at St Rocco’s Hospice.

John’s friends and family were all in awe of the exceptional care and support that he received during his time at the hospice, with many of them only becoming aware of the work that the charity does within the Warrington community when John became ill.

Anthony and the team now hope to raise £5000 towards patient care at St Rocco’s by taking on the cycling challenge in July.

Anthony said: “We’re overwhelmed at the support we’ve already received from the people taking part in the ride and also people’s generous donations.

"We have a long way to go to reach our target so we hope we can continue to raise awareness and support for the cause.

“It’s been an eye opener to see how many people have been affected by St Rocco’s and their work.

"By supporting this charity and raising as much as possible, we can at least contribute to its future in providing fantastic care to anyone who may need it within the Warrington community.”

Katie Lawson, community fundraiser at St. Rocco’s added: “This is such an amazing challenge to take part in and we’re wishing Anthony and the entire team a huge good luck for July.

"St Rocco’s is so lucky to have such wonderful supporters in the community and it’s through events like this we can continue to be there when they need us most."

To donate to Anthony’s challenge click here https://justgiving.com/fundraising/coast2coaststroccos.