Retired teacher and daughter to cycle from London to Paris to support Lancaster hospice

A retired teacher is getting on her bike to fundraise for the Lancaster hospice which cared for her dad.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 3:04 pm

Libby Wheildon and her daughter Emily plan to cycle 300 miles from London to Paris in September to support St John’s Hospice, which is also hosting an art exhibition from March organised by Libby.

It’s a busy time for 60-year-old Libby, who taught at the former High Bentham Primary School for more than 20 years and retired as headteacher at a Ripon infants school four years ago.

“I wanted a challenge and to go into my sixties feeling fitter than I have for a while,” said Libby.

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Libby and Emily, who face a London to Paris cycle ride to support the hospice.

Emily, 26, who works in wealth management in London, returned to the family home in Low Bentham during the first lockdown so mother and daughter took on the hospice’s 2.6 Challenge. Libby cycled while Emily ran.

They also completed a ride around the area served by the hospice in May, cycling 70 miles a day, and the Way of the Roses from Morecambe to Bridlington, covering 170 miles in three days.

Since Emily returned to London, and in readiness for their next marathon challenge, Libby aims to cycle several times a week accompanied by her husband Trevor.

And while putting in the miles, Libby has also organised a special art exhibition, which takes place in the hospice’s Courtyard Café, from March 25 to April 3, Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm or on other days by arrangement.

Emily and Libby Wheildon.

It will display around 90 paintings by Libby’s former colleague and ex-deputy head of High Bentham School, Peter Bolton.

The paintings in goache, watercolour, acrylic and ink depict mainly Lakes and Dales scenes and 50 per cent of all sales will be donated to the hospice.

An exhibition preview and cheese and wine evening attended by Peter takes place on March 25 at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 and are available by ringing 01524 382538 or online here.

This event is supported by Booths, Aldi and Churchmouse Cheeses of Barbon.

Artist Peter Bolton with his painting of Sunderland Point which will be auctioned off at the Forget Me Not Ball on March 5.

Libby hopes the hospice exhibition will be as popular as a similar exhibition of Peter’s paintings which she organised for Bentham’s St John the Baptist Church last year, raising £4,000 for the church.

Peter has also donated a painting of Sunderland Point which will be auctioned at the hospice’s Forget Me Not Ball on March 5.

“Helping the hospice is the main motivator for all of us,” said Libby.

The fundraising efforts will be matchfunded by Emily’s employer, Schroders, and are in memory of Libby’s dad, Clive Osborne, who died at her home after spending two weeks at the hospice in April 2013, just four weeks before his 80th birthday and only six months after her mum’s death.

Libby’s other connection with the hospice is through her involvement with their Nourish team, who deliver assemblies in schools to raise awareness of health and wellbeing.

Libby has already raised £1,500 at a jumble sale in Bentham, cake sales and also has a Just Giving page here.