A brother and sister from South Cumbria have raised funds for Bay Hospitals Charity through a pair of cycling challenges.

Cyclist Darryl Dixon from Flookburgh raised thousands for Bay Hospitals Charity by completing the epic challenge of cycling from Land’s End to John o’Groats in just six days.

And while Darryl Dixon rode the length of the country, his sister Sara Gabriel, along with her colleagues in the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Medical Records Department in Barrow, showed their support by riding 440 miles on a static bike, raising further funds for the cause.

Between them the siblings have raised almost £9,000 for the charity, smashing Darryl’s initial target of £5,000.

Bad weather including torrential rain and strong headwinds made for a challenging six days of pedalling for Darryl, He said: “I didn’t account for such difficult conditions. Because of the weather it took longer to cover the distance each day, and with eating, maintaining the bike and drying clothes before I knew it I was down to four hours’ sleep.

“But I thoroughly enjoyed it. The ride was a fantastic experience and I’m grateful that so many people have donated so much to such a good cause.

“I’m now really pushing to get to £10,000, but I’m delighted with the amount that has been donated so far.”

Friend Neil Purcell joined Darryl on the expedition as support driver.

Darryl said: “I’d like to say a special thanks to Neil, who had to support me more than we ever thought. He went through it as much as I did! He was amazing and a great friend.”

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Non-Executive Director Adrian Leather said: “I’m in awe of Darryl not only for riding 1,000 miles in six days, but also for the strength of character he has shown to complete the journey in such challenging weather and for the astonishing amount of money he has raised for Bay Hospitals Charity.

“Darryl’s achievement has been inspirational in every way and the donations he has gathered will make a huge difference to Furness General Hospital.”

As Darryl completed his challenge, Sara and the Medical Records team spent the week taking turns to pedal a static bike lent by Barrow gym Industry 13.

Sara said: “The team cycled a massive 440 miles. They are all sore, but very proud to have supported Darryl in his monumental challenge. We would like to send a massive thanks to Industry 13 for the loan of the cycle.”

As well as lending the team the bike, Industry 13 donated £100 towards the group’s fundraising total.

James Carberry of Industry 13 said: “What a great achievement and team effort, and thank you to Sara and the Medical Records team for allowing us to be a part of it.”

UHMBT Director of Corporate Affairs Phil Woodford said: “What a great effort and show of team spirit by Sara and the Medical Records team.

“Clocking up 440 miles is an amazing achievement and the additional funds they have raised will be gratefully received by the charity.”

Bay Hospitals Charity funds the latest equipment for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to help make patients more comfortable and ensure they get the best possible care and treatment. To donate and support your local NHS hospital, contact Bay Hospitals Charity on 01524 516064 or visit www.bayhospitalscharity.org

There is still time to contribute to the fund-raising total at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nhs-lejog2021