Southwold pupil completes 200-mile ride in honour of friend - with over £41,000 raised

Eirinn Cross setting off on the Big Bike Ride. Picture: Jacqueline Foley-Cross

Eirinn Cross setting off on the Big Bike Ride. Picture: Jacqueline Foley-Cross - Credit: Archant

A 13-year-old Southwold pupil has completed a 200 mile sponsored bike ride in memory of a family friend who died of cancer.

Cyclists led by Eirinn's father Steve Cross pedalled across 200 miles of Suffolk and Norfolk.Picture

Cyclists led by Eirinn's father Steve Cross pedalled across 200 miles of Suffolk and Norfolk.Picture: Jacqueline Foley-Cross. - Credit: Archant

Eirinn Cross, currently in Year 8 at Saint Felix School, cycled from Bramfield to Hunstanton then to Great Yarmouth and back in memory of Kate Woodruff, who was headteacher of Bramfield Primary School until she died of cancer last year.

The Big Bike Ride, held in her honour, has now raised over £41,000, with around seventy cyclists completing the full route.

All money raised through sponsorship is being split equally between St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich, where Mrs Woodruff was cared for during her final weeks, and Bramfield Primary School, where a new early year's facility will be dedicated in her honour.

Georgina Harrison, a friend of Mrs Woodruff and organiser of the Big Bike Ride, described her as an 'extremely popular teacher and friend to so many.'

Eirinn and Jonathan Woodruff after completing the challenge. Picture: Jacqueline Foley-Cross

Eirinn and Jonathan Woodruff after completing the challenge. Picture: Jacqueline Foley-Cross - Credit: Archant


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Accompanied by fellow cyclists, including Mrs Woodruff's husband Jonathan, a well-known face locally as a coach at Southwold Rugby Club, Eirinn completed the marathon ride in just three days over the first weekend in May.

For the last leg, 200 cyclists, the youngest just three-years-old, cycled from Henham to Bramfield, where they were met with a celebratory barbecue prepared by the Huntingfield Arms with live music from Matt Shepherd.

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As a keen participant in a number of sports, Eirinn is part of the Saint Felix swim squad as well as tennis captain and has a trial in June with the Suffolk County netball team.

Eirinn's father Steve Cross said: 'It was exhausting, but we are so proud of Eirinn and all of the participants for their efforts. Our original fundraising target was £10,000 so to have more than quadrupled that is incredible.

'It's a great tribute to Kate and means that her legacy will live on at Bramfield Primary as well as at St Elizabeth's Hospice who provide such important support to cancer patients and their families.'

You can still donate to the cause by visiting http://giving.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/the-big-bike-ride/ •Are you raising funds for a special cause? Email the details to amy.smith@archant.co.uk

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