A seven-year-old Leicester cyclist is set to cycle 200 miles from London to Paris, making him the youngest person to complete the challenge.
Rupert Brooke, who rides for Leicester Forest Cycling Club’s junior division, is set to begin the four day challenge tomorrow (Wednesday, July 6), to raise money for Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark.
The charity is one which is very close to the youngster’s heart, as he lost his Dad Tom three years ago in an unexpected accident at work.
“Rupert was four at the time, and Tom was his favourite person in the world. Losing a parent changed Rupert’s life forever,” explained his Mum Jess.
“Rupert has benefited directly from the work of the Bereavement Centre who provide him and other bereaved children and their families with much needed therapy and support in the aftermath of losing a loved one,” she added.
Rupert’s Dad died on April 29 2019. His heartbreaking story is told on a Just Giving page set up to raise money for the cause.
“He was the person I went to for everything: he made me laugh, he made me feel safe and he loved me so much. And then he was gone forever,” said Rupert of his Dad.
“My Mummy was looking after me but I could see that she was very sad and not the same anymore. I was terrified that something could happen to her too. When the pandemic happened, everyone who was helping us in our lives could not see us anymore. I felt very sad, scared and alone.
“Luckily, the Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark has been there to help us all along. They supported my Mummy and me through our saddest times. They helped me to understand the difficult feelings I was having and introduced me to other children who know how I feel so that we could have fun together and feel less alone.”
Rupert says that he wants to raise money for the Children’s Bereavement Centre, so that they can help more people like himself and his Mum.
Speaking of his challenge, Rupert said that it would be “massive.”
“My legs are only little, but with your support I know we can make a huge difference to other bereaved children and I know I will make my Daddy very proud,” he added.
“Riding my bike reminds me of my short time with my Daddy and that is why I’m asking you to back me on this very long journey. Together we can raise the money whilst also making more memories in memory of my Daddy.”
So far, Rupert has raised almost £26,000 of his £30,000 target.
To donate to the cause, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rupert-brooke