Veitch?s Garden Centre cafe will welcome charity cyclists

A cafe in East Calder is set to host a charity pit stop for cyclists who are riding from John O?Groats to Lands End.

The Almondell Caf? at Veitch?s Garden Centre will welcome the seven riders on September 12 who are cycling to raise cash for the When You Wish Upon a Star charity.

Manager Lydia Forbes and her father, Ian Forbes, are excited about the event as one of the riders, Struan Marshall, is Ian?s wife?s cousin.

They are hoping to see residents join them next Friday, with a special tea and cake deal on offer with a donation from every sale going towards the charity.

This is the third leg of the riders? challenge, and is the longest part, having already travelled the thinnest and widest travel routes of the UK.

In 2012 Struan and Sam Fairclough rode from coast to coast at the thinnest point of Great Britain, 150 miles in 10 hours, raising more than ?600 for Macmillan Cancer Research.

The following year Struan, Chris Wade, Craig Pattison, Peter Satchwell and Chris Taylor, with David Jackson as a support driver, rode from coast to coast at the widest point of the UK, 409 miles in four days, raising more than ?3000 for three different charities in Aspire, Living Streets and Brain Tumour UK.

When You Wish Upon a Star aims to grant the wishes of children between the ages of two and 16 years old living in Scotland and the rest of the UK with life threatening illnesses.

Ian said: ?My wife?s cousin is involved in the cycling so we are putting on a special tea at my daughter?s cafe.

?The group of cyclists like doing things for charity and I think they thought this would be a great thing to do.

?They took on the thinnest part of the challenge two years ago and then the widest last year.?

Ian said the cyclists, who have raised close to ?4000 so far, are highly motivated to fundraise for the charity.

He added: ?A few of the other riders have children and they all feel very lucky in that their children are fit and healthy, but they are very aware that many children are not so lucky.

?They chose When You Wish Upon A Star for this last ride to raise at least ?7200 to send an ill child and their family to Lapland to see the real Santa.

?The Lapland trips are a magical wish that the charity provides every year and this year one of the flights will leave from Prestwick on December 15.?

The Scotland regional fundraiser for When You Wish Upon A Star, Stephanie Donaghey, said the challenge is a great help to the fundraising for the trips.

She said: ?They give a child and their family memories to treasure forever and a welcome distraction from hospital routines and treatment.

?We hope that we may have a few special families for the team to meet at the Almondell Caf? on the day to wave them off on their journey but I will certainly be there to give them my thanks and answer any questions people have about how they can help When You Wish Upon a Star.?

Residents are being encouraged to head along and give the team and charity some support around 1pm.

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