Pedal power for charity
Father-of-two Ben Cross got himself into a spin when he took on a challenge for Brian House Children's Hospice.
Ben and a group of friends have so far raised £1,447 after completing a spin-a-thon – involving 30-minute spin sessions every hour over 16 hours – last Saturday at Village Gym in Blackpool.
They were inspired to support a local children’s charity after Ben’s eldest son became seriously ill with necrotising fasciitis – a bacterial infection that destroys skin and tissues – when he was just four years old.
Ben, who lives near Stanley Park with wife Nicola and sons Charlie and Dexter, said: “Charlie had chicken pox which you think is quite an innocuous thing to have.
“But then he started with pain and swelling under his arm and chest.
“He went to Manchester Children’s Hospital and was diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis .
“They told us to prepare for the worst.
“It spread really quickly and he ended up having a skin graft.”
Charlie, who will soon celebrate his sixth birthday, spent a month in hospital but is now recovering well.
Ben, who works for Blackpool Victoria Hospital, added: “The staff were amazing.
“I’ve since done fund-raising for Manchester Children’s Hospital and then a group of friends at Village Gym decided to do something for a local service .
“We chose Brian House because they do such amazing work.
“There were about 10 people doing the whole challenge throughout the day and then others from spin classes joined in.
“We did eight hours of cycling and about 160 to 180 miles.
“Everyone was in good spirits on the day and it was a great feeling when we finished it.
“We’d like to thank people for supporting us, they’ve been so generous.”
To donate, search The Village Gym Spin-a-thon on JustGiving.