A BELPER grandmother will cycle from London to Paris to raise funds for a premature babies’ charity.
Rosie Spears,of Long Row, in the town, who is a teaching assistant at Belper School, is putting her mettle to the pedal to raise money for the charity Bliss, which supports babies prematurely.
It comes after Rosie’s grandson Harry died four years ago when he was born 13 weeks early. Since then her daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Paul have raised £30,000 for the charity and the neonatal unit at Royal Derby Hospital, by trekking up Kilimanjaro and taking part in the London Marathon.
Rosie said: “It is very personal to us. It was very traumatic and something you never really get over. It was a very, very difficult time for my daughter and son-in-law and to support them was hard.
“From a mother’s point of view it’s one of those occasions where you can’t make it better. It’s always a mother’s instinct to try, but you can’t and it’s heartbreaking.
“It drew my attention to how much it happens to other people.”
Last month Rosie helped organise a concert at Belper School, which raised £278 for Bliss with a student showcase of musical talent.
Rosie, 58, says she is looking forward to the 300-mile ride, which will be completed over four days starting on August 19 and finishing at the Eiffel Tower.
She said: “I’m looking forward to it and plan to record my experiences in a little booklet. We are due to finish on the Saturday with a celebration meal and have half a day to look round before we return on the Eurostar.
“I used to run but a knee injury stopped that so I started cycling as a way to get to fit.
“I am cycling for pleasure at the moment but I’m quite competitive. I used to swim and completed a triathlon. Next year I would like to trek to Kilimanjaro with my daughters. After that, will be an open water swim - that’s the plan!”
Rosie has worked as a teaching assistant in the alternative curriculum centre at Belper School for 22 years and has lived in Belper since 1978.
If you would like to donate to Rosie’s cause go to www.justgiving.com/rosemary-speaRS.
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