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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Nine-year-old Cumbrian boy cycles 80 miles to beat polio

A schoolboy's mammoth cycling effort has helped protect thousands of children against a killer disease.

Finn Mayhew photo
Finn Mayhew with Kevin Walsh, of Rotary

Nine-year-old Finn Mayhew rode 80 miles from his home near Brampton to Tynemouth with his dad Mic.

The Hayton Primary School pupil took on the challenge in support of Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

He had been inspired to get involved by the fundraising which is being carried out by the Rotakids Club at his school.

After completing the gruelling bike ride, Finn managed to raise an impressive £800 which will be increased to £2,400 as Microsoft founder Bill Gates has promised to triple every pound raised.

It means the cash raised through Finn’s efforts will be enough to vaccinate more than 6,500 children against polio for life.

Kevin Walsh, district governor for Rotary in Cumbria and Lancashire and a member of the Brampton and Longtown Rotary Club, cycled to the school to thank Finn and the other Rotakids for their “tremendous effort to help the important international campaign”.

Mr Walsh was cycling in Frankfurt with 500 fellow Rotarians and their friends and families in aid of the End Polio Now drive.

Mr Walsh said: “I was really impressed when I found out that Finn had decided to undertake the 80-mile cycle ride and donate his sponsorship money to the End Polio Now campaign.

“It was only fitting that I cycle out to the school from my home in Carlisle to thank Finn and his friends personally.”

Sue Lindgard, head teacher at Hayton Primary School, also praised Finn for his big-hearted efforts.

She said: “To cycle to Tynemouth as a way of fundraising was a decision that Finn made by himself, as was the choice of charity. Well done Finn, and for looking after dad Mic who accompanied you.”

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