St Albans artist set to conquer fundraising cycling challenge for hospice

PUBLISHED: 17:02 21 August 2015

Cycling for The Hospice of St Francis are, from left: Russell Mann, Ben Askem and Robin Parsons

Cycling for The Hospice of St Francis are, from left: Russell Mann, Ben Askem and Robin Parsons

photo supplied

A local artist is to cycle 1,000 miles in just 12 days, to raise money for a local hospice which cared for his beloved mum.

Ben Askem, 38, who owns Original Canvases on the High Street, will be cycling an average of 90 miles per day when the challenge begins on September 1.

After losing his mother, Stephanie, to cancer in 2013, he will be endeavouring to give something back to the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, which looked after her when she was ill.

Over 20 per cent of the hospice’s patients come from this district.

Ben said: “The staff there are on another level, I don’t know how they do what they do.

“I told my mum before she died that I wanted to do something to raise money for them to say thank you.”

Along with Russell Mann and Robin Parsons - who have both recently lost a parent and wanted to also support the Hospice of St Francis - Ben will begin the ride in Land’s End and finish in John O’Groats on September 12.

Ben explained: “Training has been tough, although the weather has been good, so we have managed to go on some longer rides.

“We all have a very strong motivation driving us forward.”

A recent fundraising event hosted by the trio helped to raise money for the hospice in advance of the cycle ride.

He added: “We want to thank all of the local businesses in St Albans who donated raffle prizes - the support we had was amazing.”

So far, the three men have raised more than £7,000 for the hospice. You can donate via Ben’s Just Giving page

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