HELEN Baker is going the extra mile or 80 this weekend to ensure pupils at a new Greenfield school will have the brightest possible futures.
Helen embarks on a sponsored Manchester to Blackpool cycle ride, leaving the city at midnight on Friday (June 7) at the start of a journey expected to take around eight hours.
The 43-year-old design and project coordinator at Robert Scott on Manchester Road, Greenfield has set herself a target of £2,000 towards the purchase of sensory equipment for Bright Futures School for children with autism.
Youngsters and staff, previously based in Grasscroft, are now using temporary accommodation in Greenacres but are due to move into new premises on land off Friezland Lane provided by Scotts.
Helen is nearly halfway towards her fund-raising goal before even turning a wheel and hopes local generosity can push her to the final four figure sum.
“I fancied challenging myself to do this night ride but thought ‘why not use the challenge to do something even better,’” she told the Independent.
“My vision is if the school can get this equipment for these children, they can have good fun, develop new skills and come home from school with big smiles on their faces. It will be great if I can help improve the lives of these children.”
Bright Futures is committed to raising £40,000 towards equipment for the new building including £28,000 for an immersive sensory/educational space.
“I only decided to do this ride last week and the furthest I’ve ridden is 42 miles which was next day,” explained Helen, a Scotts employee for more than 10 years.
“But I really liked the sound of doing it even though it might be hard if the weather isn’t too good.”
Helen and cycling pals from Chorlton Wanderers and a London based Fridays club set-off from in front of Manchester Town Hall.
Their route takes them towards Tottington, for a rest stop at Blackburn, onto Garstang and then down the Fylde coast via Fleetwood into Blackpool.
To help Helen reach her target you can pledge support via her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/donate/2231570543823713/10161764760200384/