An Ellesmere Port fundraiser sent shoppers into a spin by cycling in the town centre to raise money for a children’s hospice.
Specsavers on Marina Walk has named 59-year-old Mike Faulkner as its hero of the year and is backing him in his bid to raise more than £4,500 for Claire House.
Mike, a transport co-ordinator from Great Sutton, approached Specsavers in the Port Arcades for help after agreeing to embark on a 300-mile bike ride between London and Paris.
The feat will see him and two colleagues cycle 100 miles a day in a gruelling test for a cause close to Mike’s heart.
He says Claire House was a lifeline to him and his family for 10 years providing a place of respite, reassurance and support throughout the illness of his son Ian who sadly passed away in 2012.
Paul Quinton, store manager at Specsavers, jumped at the chance to get behind the venture beginning by providing cycling kits and a turbo booster to the team and then by opening up the store to the cyclists to help them raise even further funds.
With the store decked out in balloons, banners and collection buckets, Mike and his colleague and cycling partner Stuart Edwards rode their bikes outside all day.
Generous Specsavers customers donated £345 and the store has pledged to match the amount bringing the fundraising total for the day to almost £700.
Mike says, ‘We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who put their hands in their pockets over the weekend. We were overwhelmed by the support from Specsavers customers and passers-by. The money donated really is going to an amazing cause.
“Ian was born with autism and learning difficulties and kidney problems. As he got older he developed other issues including epilepsy and renal failure.
“We became aware of Claire House when Ian was 14 and despite being a children’s hospice they supported us all until he was 23. “Ian’s mental age was about eight or nine so we really needed the care and help that Claire House”e could offer.
“He passed away in 2012, aged 25, having received amazing long term support from the hospice.
“I’ve set myself this challenge to support the hospice and all the families still relying on it as I know exactly what it means to depend on its service.”
Paul commented: “Mike’s story really struck a chord with us and we are doing everything we can to help him reach his fundraising target and support him along the way. We’re really inspired by Mike’s determination.”
Mike himself says he has zip wired, sky dived and abseiled in the past ‘but I’m no Bear Grylls’.
The ride takes place between July 20 and 24. To donate to Claire House and help Mike raise funds, pop into Specsavers in the Port Arcades or visit www.justgiving.com/Mike-Faulkner-2016.