Thrapston friends use pedal power to raise funds for zoo

They are stepping up to help after hearing of Hamerton Zoo's challenge to raise funds

By Sam Wildman
Monday, 1st June 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 1st June 2020, 5:10 pm
The 11 friends (photo taken pre-lockdown).
The 11 friends (photo taken pre-lockdown).

A group of youngsters from Thrapston are getting on their bikes to help raise vital cash for their favourite zoo.

The intrepid 11 from six families, who range in age from three to almost nine, were touched by stories that zoos are finding it challenging to raise the funds they need to keep the animals fed, entertained and looked after in the coronavirus lockdown.

They were so touched that they are stepping up to help Hamerton Zoo near Sawtry by cycling and have already smashed their fundraising target.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Sam and Ben Douglas at Rushden Lakes.

Euan Hughes (eight), Sam Douglas (eight), Ben Douglas (seven), Ollie Baylis (eight), Rory Hewes-Smith (eight), Toby Hewes-Smith (six), Gui Hewes-Smith (three), Josh Gillson (eight), Isabelle Gillson (six), Thomas Hamilton (eight) and William Hamilton (six), wanted to clock up 300 miles between them over 10 days and raise £300.

But after just three days they have already pedalled more than 230 miles and raised almost £1,500.

Lisa Hughes, mum to Euan who suggested the fundraising idea to his friends, said: “We are so proud of them for wanting to help their local animal park through these tough times.

"They’ve all visited there many times and were concerned to hear it is struggling to attract the funding to keep it going without the money from visitors.

Euan and his mum and dad at Rushden Lakes

“They’ve all loved being out on their bikes during lockdown for their daily exercise and so it seemed a good opportunity to help raise some funds.

“People have already been so generous and it is really helping the boys prepare knowing they have so much support.”

Some of the families have completed a 19-mile round trip to Rushden Lakes on their bike, a huge achievement as it was the further they have cycled in one go. Others have biked around their local area and to Stanwick Lakes.