Going 473.5 miles for charity

Going 473.5 miles for charity

When a holiday to Disneyland Paris to celebrate handing in a dissertation was cancelled due to Covid-19, a higher education student decided to cycle the distance at home to raise money for Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Childhood Studies student Michelle Mcglasson chose to pedal 473.5 miles on an exercise bike in under 30 days – an average of 16 miles per day - to raise much-needed funds for the charity, which has faced a £250,000 shortfall because of the crisis.

The 35-year-old fit riding around her job, working remotely for children with disabilities and special educational needs and disabilities, on the final year of her BA Honours degree.

Michelle said: “I have been supporting the College to raise money for Francis House Children’s Hospice and was planning on having a fundraiser, which unfortunately could not go ahead, so I set myself this challenge.

“I ran the Manchester 10k before for Francis House, but the first few rides were like an uphill struggle, until dad took the bike apart and fixed the rusting wheels!”

She added that her family, friends, and colleagues had been really supportive, which had kept her going as well as music and Disney plus! Michelle planned to celebrate completing the charity challenge with a Disney party by video call with her family or by watching the Disney fireworks online with a glass of fizz.

Michelle said: “I count myself lucky I am safe and well, and when it is safe to do so my college friend Clare and I will rebook our trip. It’s given me something else to focus on during Covid-19 and the opportunity to improve my own fitness, whilst raising money for Francis House.”

Before lockdown, Childhood Studies students held a raffle in aid of the hospice, thanks to kind donations from students, local businesses and course lecturer Dr Controllah Gabi.

Dr Gabi, said: "I couldn't be more proud of Michelle for continuing to raise funds for Francis House Children's Hospice. Her decision to raise money by cycling the distance to Disneyland Paris is an excellent example of the positivity and resilience that we nurture and encourage on our Childhood Studies programme, underpinned by our enduring belief that great programmes span beyond the classroom.

“Great students transcend book knowledge - they apply it in real life with empathy and kindness, making a positive contribution to their society and to the world as global citizens and role models."

To make a donation to Francis House Children’s Hospice, visit the charity’s donation page.