Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Cycling for Jonty - Paul's Coast to Coast Challenge

Andy Hopkinson | 6th February 2022

We’d like to extend a huge thank you and congratulations to long-time supporter Paul Jarvis, who has completed an epic cycling trip in memory of his eldest son Jonty, who died from meningitis in 2005, aged just 6

Cycle challenge in memory of Jonty for Meningitis Now

Paul told us that Jonty was a very outdoors little lad who loved riding his bike, so a charity bike challenge seemed the most appropriate way to both remember him and support our ongoing lifesaving and life-changing work.

“We wanted a sufficiently difficult challenge to warrant an ambitious fundraising target,” Paul said, “so rather than just do the two-day Coast to Coast Ride, we doubled it to a four-day ride by cycling to the start from a cyclists’ café in Congleton, Cheshire, owned by the cycling events company we use, Chapeau Events.”

Whitehaven to Tynemouth

The Coast to Coast Ride covers 141 miles from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Tynemouth in Northumberland, taking in testing climbs as the route leads cyclists across the Lake District and into the Pennines. 

One thing it’s not is easy and it’s certainly a challenge, even without the extra distance incorporated in Paul’s version.

Together Paul and his companions rode 336 miles, including climbing 23,000 feet over the four days.

Ambitious fundraising target

And if the cycling wasn’t ambitious enough the fundraising target certainly was. Paul was hoping to reach a fundraising target of £20,000. But he hasn’t just surpassed that, he’s smashed it, raising an amazing £45,000 to date.

The 53-year-old father of three, who has been a keen cyclist for some eight years now, added: “It was hugely satisfying to complete the challenge. I don’t think I’ll ever be so glad to see Newcastle again!  

“I’d very much like to thank Chapeau Events for preparing and supporting us through the event and Land Recovery Ltd for supporting Meningitis Now.

“On behalf of the whole group, many, many thanks to all the friends, family and well-wishers for their generous support.

“And my sincere thanks to the mates who shared the pain, namely Dan, John, Rich, Darron, John, Andy and Des.

“There is no way I could have completed this without their encouragement and the sense of camaraderie.  Many thanks boys!”

Fantastic achievement

Our Senior Fundraising Officer, Leah Wynn, added: “What a fantastic achievement by Paul and everyone who took part in this challenge.  

“We’re so grateful to him and everyone who supported him for everything they’re doing to support our work. 

“Every mile ridden, and every pound raised, will make a difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it, as we look to defeat meningitis in the UK within a generation.”

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