JoGLE for Ellis White
My son Ellis passed away on the 12 February this year. Before his funeral was even arranged, a group of his best friends said they intended to honour him, cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Ellis worked for Sigma Sports in Oakham. He was a keen cyclist himself, hoping one day to take part in the transplant games.
Cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End
I thought it was just a nice idea, with all best intentions, and that it probably wouldn’t really happen. However, at the funeral his best friend, Chris Packwood, told me that 13 friends had it all organised. They had taken the time off work, all the hotel stopovers were booked, and they were starting to train. I was totally amazed!!
I was asked which charity they should raise funds for and chose the Leicester Hospitals Charity. The Just Giving Page went live in March. It was incredible to watch the donations start to come in. Within a few days the initial target of £10,000 was hit. With the help of the girlfriends, families, Sigma Sports and other companies supporting the fund-raising efforts. This included a Curry and Quiz night at the Kibworth Bowling Club. The amount raised grew to nearly £20,000 prior to the ride commencing. Link to article in The Harborough Mail, 7th July.
Epic Cycling Journey
Chris’s Mum and Dad, Michael and Wendy, drove the group by minibus to John O’Groats for the start of the ride on 2 August. All were very excited and nervous in anticipation of what lay ahead of them. The eleven cyclists and 2 support crew set off early with 73 miles ahead of them for day one.
The support team were set to work early with a broken chain just 2 miles in. Over 500 people were watching the pictures, videos and updates on the ‘JoGLE for White’ Instagram page. Wishing the boys well as they made the long journey down through Scotland. They endured day after day of rain, but it didn’t dampen their spirits. Henry Povoas said to me,
“If there were doubting their ability to get through to the end, they simply checked the Just Giving Total and said ‘We’re doing it for Ellis’.”
It was amazing to watch the fundraising total creeping up as the riders continued their epic journey over ten days. People they met along the way, and at the hotels they stayed in, contributed to the fund-raising effort. Many were taken aback by the mammoth task the boys were undertaking. One lady called them Heroes!!
The boys had a few guest cyclists join them along the way. This included Tilly Higgs, Charlotte and Liz Mathers, Ollie Reeve and Stefan Ziemelis.
The Finishing Line
My Mum and I went to Cornwall to be at the finish line with all the other families and friends. Waiting in anticipation to greet this amazing group of young men who in ten days had cycled the entire length of Britain.
The approach to Lands End is via a long driveway. As we saw the group approach everyone was cheering and waving banners. Emotions were high. Two of the cyclists, Chris and Oli, rode straight up to me and hugged me tight as we all sobbed. I’ll never forget what these wonderful men did in my son’s honour. Truly outstanding! The Harborough Mail reported on crossing the finishing line.
As of 3 September they have raised over £34,000 for Leicester Hospitals Charity from 971 supporters.
The Heroes were; Chris Packwood, Olly Povoas, Will Clow, Luke Mathers, Henry Moss, James Dixon, Ashley Seaton, Kain Rix, Henry Povoas, Jon Butler, Connor Bradbury, Brett Parlour and Jack Digby.