Holly Clough, PA to Jack Bryson, our Head of Business at Wakefield Audi has been involved with the charity Parkinson's UK for the past 10 years, helping to raise awareness and fund-raise for an amazing cause.
10 years ago, her close friend Leanne Owen was a watch manager in West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service. Making life saving decisions at fires, road accidents and emergencies, Leanne had never imagined what would happen next. On 21st February 2011, at the age of 40, Leanne discovered that she had Parkinson's. Not being able to continue working, Leanne retired from the Fire Service.
With her new found spare time, Leanne decided to focus her energies and expertise on fundraising. Following Leanne's diagnosis, she completed the coast to coast walk, walking from St Bees on the west coast to Robin Hoods Bay on the east coast. She's held car boot sales, fashion shows, garden parties, has jumped out of a plane with her youngest son and much more to try raise awareness and money for something close to her heart.
Although some of the fundraising challenges have been tough, Leanne says ''The effort I have given has been matched by the satisfaction I have felt. Not only the satisfaction of completing each challenge, but the satisfaction of knowing that I am making a difference.''
This year the challenge was to cycle from Leeds to Leeds, taking in the 4 countries and 4 capitals. With Holly not cycling this year and Jack loaning them a Q7, Holly was more than happy to drive for 11 days, being on board to offer support. After 7 months of Leanne planning the route, the accommodation, raising funds and training, the team were ready to get out on their bikes.
4 weeks before Holly and the team were due to set off, Leanne was out on her bike putting in some last minute training and unfortunately skidded on some gravel. Fracturing her skull, breaking her cheekbone and shattering both eye sockets, Leanne was no longer able to cycle. Not letting this stop them, a new team formed to complete the challenge, with Leanne keeping Holly company in the Q7.
The full team completing the full 11 days were Pete Owen ex fire fighter and Leanne's husband, Nick Doyle, BDM at Microlynx ltd and Steve Worthy ex fire fighter. They were also joined along the way by many cyclists picking up days at a time and Paul Cummins ex Fire fighter and Mark Hunter local business owner, who joined for the majority of the ride.
After months of planning, 11 days of 11 locations, a heatwave and many wonderful people along the way, the team have now completed this years fundraising challenge.
Leanne gives everything shes got to her fundraising activities, something that is very clear when you see how amazing she is doing.
If you would like to donate to Leanne's great cause, find out more about Leanne's journey with Parkinson's or find our more about the charity, please visit the below links.