Blackpool gran’s dash to Dorset by bike, train . . . and hearse

Karen Rothwell is planning to travel to Dorset by as many forms of transport as possible to raise money for the British Lung Foundation in memory of her mum Maureen Richardson.
Karen Rothwell is planning to travel to Dorset by as many forms of transport as possible to raise money for the British Lung Foundation in memory of her mum Maureen Richardson.
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A hearse might not be most people’s transport of choice - but one of the vehicles is set to help launch a Fylde woman’s fundraising drive.

Karen Rothwell is bidding to travel from Blackpool to Dorset to raise money for the British Lung Foundation in memory of her mum.

The 54-year-old grandmother is planning to use as many different forms of transport as possible for the 300 mile journey.

Dubbed ‘The Dorset Dash by any means’, Karen, who lives in Poulton, will set off on April 18 and expects to take about a week to complete the challenge. She decided to take action after her mum Maureen Richardson, 74, died in September 2016 following a long struggle with lung disease.

Karen said: “We saw so many people struggling with this condition which means they can’t breathe, and I thought I needed to do something in mum’s memory.

“So I contacted the British Heart Foundation and came up with this wacky idea.

“When I went to pick mum’s ashes up at Hollowell’s in Blackpool, they agreed to donate the first vehicle which is an old hearse.

“It will take me to Preston Railway Station and I plan to go from there to Horwich at Bolton by train. There is still a lot to plan, but I will possibly be able to get a Warburton’s van and a truck, and I could also use mum’s old bike which I still have.”

Karen, who works for Blackpool Council’s Vitaline service, chose Dorset as her destination because it was Maureen’s favourite place to go on holiday.

She will also wear fancy dress and proposes to fundraise at locations including train and bus stations, theatres, cinemas, service stations and football grounds en route. Karen said: “I’m taking a pop-up tent and it would also be great to get support from any of the budget hotel chains who can offer accommodation.

“I’m also looking for anyone who can offer me any kinds of wacky transport I can use.

“I’m raising awareness about the disease and the work of the British Lung Foundation. My mum was a smoker and her consultant told us that was one of the main causes of her lung disease. But some people might get it from other causes such as passive smoking.”

n Anyone who wants to support Karen can contact her at Karen.Turner47@hotmail.co.uk or by calling 07519026093.