A FIREFIGHTER from Great Haywoods is gearing up a team of his friends for a long-distance cycling challenge in the name of a village girl who is facing a major operation.
Phil Salway, who works at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue’s Beaconside offices talked 14 pals into biking from Land’s End to John O’ Groats to raise money for the renal unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital after Kayleigh, the nine-year-old daughter of a close friend, was diagnosed with a severe kidney infection and told she needed an operation.
“Kayleigh’s grandparents approached me and asked if there was something I could do to help out and support her parents so I put the idea of the bike ride together.”
Phil’s team of ten riders and five support crew members, all firm friends, will set of from Land’s End on June 7 and are hoping to pedal a gruelling 110 miles a day for nine days.
“We’re planning to ride past the children’s hospital and through the village as part of our route,” said Phil.
“We’re all in training at the moment and try to go out at least once a week together.
"Most of us have known each other for a long time but we are a real mixture, “ he said.
“There are photographers, builders, plumbers and lorry drivers.”
Phil said he was looking forward to the challenge and to the opportunity to put a smile on Kayleigh’s face.
“She’s a brave girl,” he said. “She lost a lot of weight just recently and it really made me sit up and think a bit.
To support the challenge to to www.teamspirit2013.co.uk.