Express & Star

Brother and sister to tackle Birmingham canals in memory of 'amazing grandma'

A brother and sister are taking on a canal cycle challenge to raise money in memory of their “amazing” grandmother.

Florence and Samuel Haigh.

Florence and Samuel Haigh, aged 11 and seven, will cycle a testing 16-miles along Birmingham’s canals from the north to the south of the city this weekend.

The siblings are determined to support Ashgate Hospicecare as it cared for their grandmother, Jeanette Haigh, who died in June, aged 72, after being diagnosed with cancer.

Jeanette received “compassionate” care at the Derbyshire charity’s Inpatient Unit before she died at home with family by her side.

Birmingham school pupils Florence and Samuel say that the ride, which is set to take place on Sunday, is the biggest fundraiser they’ve ever taken part in.

And they’ve already smashed their fundraising goal of £500, having broken the £900 barrier, thanks to the generosity of family.

Florence said: “It is quite a big challenge for us. It is much further than we have ever ridden before, and we thought if we made it very challenging then it would raise more money.

“The inspiration for the fundraiser came after we wanted to help a charity which provided so much support for our grandma.

“They really cared for our grandma, and it also helped give our grandad a break. What was important to her was how friendly, kind and understanding the staff were. She said the food was amazing.

“Our grandma was a truly amazing person. She always put others before herself and worked hard to make the world a better place."

Florence and Samuel, pupils at Yenton Primary School in Erdington, are looking forward to the challenge.

Starting at Minworth and ending in Solihull, they will cycle across the city in a single day – joined by mascot Sheara, a toy sheep which Jeanette loved.

Their efforts will help Derbyshire-based Ashgate Hospicecare support patients and their families who need specialist end of life care.

Carl Jones, fundraising manager at Ashgate Hospicecare, added: “It’s so lovely to see that Florence and Samuel wanted to do something special in memory of their grandma, Jeanette.

“Everyone at Ashgate will be cheering them on ahead of their ride across Birmingham – I’m sure they’ll smash it, particularly with Sheara by their side."

“Their support will mean we can continue caring for the families who need our support most."

Support the challenge at

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