“It was tough but worth it” – Ella-May’s 25-mile cycle challenge raises nearly £2,500 for EACH  

A kind-hearted nine-year-old raised nearly £2,500 after taking on a 25-mile charity bike ride in rural Norfolk.

Ella-May Saunders, who lives in Jermyn Way, Tharston, completed the challenge for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

She cycled for three hours, with one quick pit stop, and was rightly proud of herself after raising an astonishing £2,473.

Ella-May’s fundraiser was in memory of James Thorndyke, the baby son of a close family friend who died in February 2017.

James had Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) and received care at EACH’s former Quidenham hospice. He died five days before his first birthday.

His mum, Susie, is friends with Ella-May’s mum, Louise, and herself a successful fundraiser for the charity, having held two balls in 2018 and 2020 and donated just over £40,000.

Louise said: “We’re so proud of Ella-May.

“She didn’t moan once, stuck to her task and completed the challenge with no problems at all.

“We only stopped once, for a quick bite to eat and drink in Bunwell.

“Other than that, she completed the route in one go, in three hours.”

Ella-May added: “It was tough but worth it in the end.”

Her route took in Forncett, Spooner Row, Bunwell, Carleton Rode, Tibenham, Aslacton, Great Moulton and Wacton before heading back to Tharston.

Ella-May’s fundraiser was made even more impressive by the fact she has weekly physio sessions because of problems with her legs and knees.

The Aslacton Primary School pupil, who celebrates her tenth birthday later this month and has a five-year-old sister, Florence, was joined on the epic bike ride by both Louise and dad Jonny.

Her fundraising page is still open. To sponsor Ella-May, click here or visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ella-maysaunders


Notes to Editors

“We’d heard about EACH and knew they were a fantastic cause that had supported families we knew, but we never thought we’d be the ones that needed them! Sadly, as fantastic as it is, their service will always be required, and every child who needs their help deserves to have it.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.5 million from fundraising and £5.4 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron – Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds, visit www.each.org.uk or call the Norfolk fundraising office on 01508 500894.

Keep in touch:


For further information about this release please contact:
Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk


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