Brave St Albans girl inspires cyclists to raise close to £20K for GOSH and Neuro Foundation

The riders with Bessie Davis and her Grampy

The riders with Bessie Davis and her Grampy - Credit: Archant

It was a hero’s welcome on Sunday for four brave cyclists who pedalled 260 miles for a little girl battling a genetic condition, with close to £20,000 raised in the process.

Hundreds of friends and supporters gathered in Alban City School’s playground on Sunday as the team arrived back from a gruelling four day ride from Plymouth to St Albans in aid of Bessie Davis, six, from Ladysmith Road.

Bessie was diagnosed with the little known Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), which causes benign tumours to grow along her nerves.

Although it is more common than cystic fibrosis, it remains relatively unheard of.

Between Sunday’s Finish Fete and the bike ride itself, more than £19,500 with Gift Aid has been raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital - where Bessie is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment – and the Neuro Foundation.

Bessie’s uncle, David Orchard, whom she calls Uncle Dudu, said: “It was wonderful to cross the finishing line to such a fantastic reception and most importantly to see Bessie herself.

“She’s such an inspiration to us all.”

Most Read

Along with the other riders, including family neighbour Daniel Sizer, he was presented with a medal, made by Bessie, by the city’s mayor Geoff Harrison.

Bessie’s dad, Mike Davis, said: “Bessie’s Uncle Dudu and all the other riders have done a phenomenal job in raising money for these two charities which have become so important to our family over the last few months.

“We are thrilled to have raised a phenomenal £19,500.

“It’s tantalisingly close to our dream of getting to the magic £20,000 so we hope people will continue to donate over the coming days, recognising the fantastic achievement of an amazing group of guys.”

The team’s fundraising page is and they have been regularly updating their Twitter feed @FollowBessie and their Follow Bessie Bear Facebook page.