Charity cycle for hospital baby unit

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A Mansfield businessman is in the final stages of preparing for an Olympic-sized charity challenge of cycling 240 miles in just 24 hours.

Paul Hopewell, a medical insurance broker, wants to raise cash for King’s Mill specialist baby care unit and will take part in a monstrous task of getting between Southampton and Sheffield in the space of a day later this month.

But this won’t be just one lone cyclist battling against clock, as the 45-year-old has also enlisted the help of former British Olympic cyclist Bryan Steel.

Paul’s motivation to raise cash for the baby unit stems from his own experience, when his son Ryan was born premature, weighed just 2lbs and spent three months in the unit.

That was 15 years ago, but Paul always promised to give something back to the unit and will set out on the epic ride on 28th June.

Paul, a senior partner at The Health Insurance Group on Oakham Business Park, said: “15 years later I’m actually going to make good the promise I made after Ryan’s birth.

“The money will go toward helping premature babies have the chance of experiencing the most precious gift possible - that of a life to live and enjoy. A few years ago I did the coast-to-coast bike ride and it was fun. But if I was to divide this ride into three or four days, it’s not really a challenge, anybody could do that.

“I was put in touch with Bryan Steel, and unfortunately for me, he said it was possible in 24 hours.”

One of Paul’s sponsors is Jephson’s Shopfitters, in Mansfield, who are contributing towards his £2,400 target.

Spokesman Angie Jephson said: “Paul has set himself a formidable challenge It’s a fantastic charity that he is supporting.”

To support Paul, go to and click on ‘sponsor a friend’.