Bampton schoolgirl's cycle challenge raises £400 towards expedition

Jessie and Peter Grimwade

Jessie and Peter Grimwade

First published in News by , Witney Reporter

JESSIE Grimwade and her father Peter crossed a continent on Easter Monday, cycling a total of 200 miles, to raise money for her to go on an Operation Raleigh expedition.

The sixth-former and her GP father, a partner at Bampton Medical Practice, completed 100 miles each on static cycles outside Aston Pottery and raised £400.

They had aimed to cover a combined total of 170 miles, the equivalent of the distance between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, in Central America – which 17-year-old Jessie will visit in October as part of an environmental project – but kept going until they reached the 200-mile mark.

The pair began the ride at 7.30am and took six hours to complete the challenge.

Jessie, a pupil at the School of St Helen and St Katharine, in Abingdon, said: “We decided to extend it, because it was quite a nice day and there were still a lot of people around.

“I felt absolutely knackered afterwards. But it was definitely worth all the pain and struggle to raise a lot of money and my friends were all proud of me.

“I really like swimming and running but cycling is my least favourite exercise, so I chose it as it would be really challenging.”

Jessie, who works part-time as a waitress at the pottery’s cafe, has now raised £1,600 for the Raleigh International trip, which will also see her visit Nicaragua.

She will spend three weeks living in a rural community helping to provide water, housing and schools.

Jessie added: “It’s a really good charity and I really love geography. It looks like a really safe and secure way to do something helping other people.”

She was supported by 15-year-old brother Henry, a pupil at Our Lady’s School in Abingdon, and her mother Helen, 46, a teaching assistant at Bartholomew School in Eynsham.

Mrs Grimwade said: “They did brilliantly. They just kept going and it amazed me.”

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