Trio saddle up for Paris bike trek to help Henry

Six year old Henry Swift with dad Andrew, uncle Ian Swift and grandad Edward Cook ahead of the charity ride to Paris
Six year old Henry Swift with dad Andrew, uncle Ian Swift and grandad Edward Cook ahead of the charity ride to Paris

It’s a family affair as a trio of Fylde cyclists head for one of the world’s great landmarks today aiming to provide a cash boost for research into diabetes.

Veteran rider Edward Cook, son-in-law Andrew Swift and Andrew’s brother Ian are part of a 30-strong group from around the country aiming to reach the Eiffel Tower from London in 24 hours.

It’s an annual event organised by the Diabetes UK charity which raises thousands of pounds to aid research into the condition – and the Fylde threesome have extra cause to help generate as much cash as possible.

They have rallied round to boost the charity coffers after Andrew’s six-year-old son Henry was diagnosed with type one diabetes last year.

Henry, from Ansdell, needs five or six injections of insulin a day as well as regular blood tests, but his condition is being smoothly managed with the help of family, friends and staff at his school, Hall Park Primary in Lytham.

But his grandad and uncle were determined to join his dad in doing something extra special to help – and Henry will be in Paris with mum Fiona, little sister Hattie and other family members to welcome the trio when they arrive in Parish on Saturday afternoon.

Edward said: “We have to cover 165 miles in 24 hours and it’s a really exciting challenge.

“Type one diabetes is on the increase in children in the UK and nobody as yet knows what triggers it.

“Henry’s condition is being managed really well but we felt we had to do something to help raise some money for research.

“It’s a great cause and a great way to give it a lift.”

Edward, 68, has a long history of helping charities through cycling. A Land’s End to John o’ Groats ride in 1999 which he helped raise £22,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support led to the Taps Bike Ride, which has raised thousands of pounds for good causes over the last 19 years.