AFTER little Olivia Noblett, who was born with club foot, was helped by local surgeon Steve Mannion, her dad wanted to give something back for the treatment she received.
So when one of Jonathan Noblett’s friends suggested a bunch of them do a fundraising cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, in aid of various charities, he jumped at the chance.
Jonathan, a chartered surveyor from Kirkham, joined forces with his twin brother Paul and friend Kevin Hodson. They were both riding on behalf of mental health charity Mind, in memory of a friend who killed himself.
Also in the team was Mark Dewson – who had the idea of the challenge for his 40th birthday – and Trevor Witcher, who both raised money for a care home and respite centre in Dorset called Julia’s House.
The team called themselves Five Against One, and spent two weeks riding the 970 miles between the two furthest points in the UK.
Jonathan raised more than £1,500 for Feet First, a charity set up by Mr Mannion, an orthopaedic consultant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, which helps treat people in the developing world with club foot.
Jonathan said: “It was a real adventure, and when we finished, there was a real sense of achievement. We covered 970 miles over two weeks. Some of the terrain and weather conditions were tougher than others.
“The toughest bits were Cornwall and Scotland and the biggest day was when we went from Glencoe to Fort William. It was a howling gale and torrential rain. The conditions were terrible. There was about four days to go at that point, and I remember thinking, if we make it through today then we can finish this.”
Jonathan said after Mr Mannion treated Olivia, now four, he wanted to give something back.
Mr Mannion uses a technique known as the Ponsetti method, which involves a series of manipulations and foot braces to correct the problem, meaning surgery is often not needed. His charity Feet First Worldwide sees him visit countries such as Malawi to help teach doctors the technique and treat the problem of club foot in the developing world, where being unable to walk can mean a poor quality of life.
Jonathan, 37, said: “I wanted to help children like Olivia who are not as fortunate. The quality of life for people in the developing world who have club foot can be quite dreadful if it’s not treated.
“But that can be avoided through education and the work Steve Mannion does.
“It made such a massive difference for Olivia – now she is able to do what every other four-year-old can do. She is a gorgeous little girl, she loves going out on her bike, so I think she liked the fact daddy was doing a big bike ride.”
Jonathan’s twin brother Paul raised £620 for Mind. Altogether, the team raised £5,000. To donate, log onto http://2mns.zapd.co/