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Barnsley Independent, Tuesday, August 6, 2019 –

MIND over matter for cyclists A THRILL-SEEKING duo will take part in a 24-hour mountain biking endurance event in sub-zero temperatures to raise funds for a mental health charity. Katie Marlow and her friend Jason Beard, who are both from Hoyland, will battle miles of gruelling terrain and 17 hours of darkness in Scotland this winter in an aim to raise £1,000 for MIND. The pair, who will ride as MTB for Mental Health, are training for the Strathpuffer 24-hour mountain biking endurance event near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Katie, who works at Wake Smith Solicitors in Sheffield and who set up cycle group MTB for Mental Health last year, said: “We have been lucky enough to get two of 150 places in the Strathpuffer 24 hour mountain bike race and will ride for MIND. That was my only condition for signing up. “This is widely renowned as one of the hardest mountain biking races in the world with 24 hours of racing in the Highlands in January, in the cold and in 17 hours of darkness. It’s a brutal mix of ice, wind, hail, mud and snow and maybe, if we are lucky, a glorious Scottish winter sunrise.” The aim of the endurance event is for participants to

do as many laps of the seven-mile course as possible in 24 hours. “I’m aiming for ten laps, any more will be a bonus,” said Katie. The duo will be supported by Hoyland-based scaffolder Jason’s sister Laura. Katie added: “Laura has agreed to come with us and be our support team. She will more than likely be the reason we make it through the night, and we have told her to prepare for tears, mainly from me. “My mountain bike group is called MTB for Mental Health and that is why we are supporting MIND charity. This cause means a lot to us and is more than a worthy cause to suffer for.” Hoyland-based Katie set up MTB for Mental Health last year after struggling with mental health issues for most of her adult life. Her fortnightly wellness rides now attract eight cyclists who enjoy relaxed rides in and around Sheffield and the Peak District. “Mountain biking has really helped me gain a sense of adventure and fun in my life and if we can raise money for a great cause, so much the better,” said Katie. For further details, visit www. mtbformentalhealth.co.uk.

ON THEIR BIKES: Jason Beard, Laura Beard and Katie Marlow.

Little and Large’s long treadmill trek to raise funds for hospice

TOP EFFORT: Niki Martin-Chambers, from DW Fitness, Barnsley Hospice’s Simon Atkinson, Mason Coles, his dad Gavin, Owen Hedges and Scott Thresh.

Berneslai up among the best social landlords

BERNESLAI Homes has entered the UK’s top 20 social landlords list. The list, produced by 24housing, reflects social landlords up and down the country who are ‘committed to making good quality service a priority and taking resident concerns seriously’. Berneslai Homes was one of five ALMOs who made the list – arms length management organisations which manage council housing on behalf of local authorities. Berneslai Homes was recognised for achievements including delivering an overall 89 per cent satisfaction for its core services, offering value for money, early help and prevention working with young carers and Dr Barnardo’s, mental health workers’ interventions, opening five dementia cafes and none community gardens and allotments, and increasing housing supply with 58 acquisitions of properties including long term empty homes, conversion of ex-nurses accommodation and new-build housing. “We are all about ‘Town Spirit’ and ‘Doing the Right Thing’ for our tenants and it’s great that we have been recognised for this nationally,” said Berneslai Homes chief executive Helen Jaggar.

A FUNDRAISING team who have already raised more than £20,000 for Barnsley Hospice walked continually on a treadmill – for 25 hours. The team, dubbed Little and Large, was initially made up of Gavin Coles and Steve Gilbert, who first began fundraising for the hospice two years ago. However, their team has now expanded to include Owen Hedges, Scott Thresh and Gavin’s children, Mason and Chloe Coles. The team walked a total of 110 miles – the equivalent of

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more than four marathons – and raised £1,577. “I’m never still,” said Gavin, 41, from Darley Avenue, Athersley South. “I always want to do something else and I’m one of those people who can’t just sit down. “Last year we did a 30-hour non-stop cycle which was difficult and this year we thought we would make it harder for ourselves by doing the walk.” The team completed the 25-hour mission at Asda on Old Mill Lane, using a treadmill supplied by DW Fitness.

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