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Pupils cheer Alexandra after right royal bike challenge - with video

By Rory Smith | Telford | School events | Published:

A 160-mile bike ride from Buckingham Palace culminated in a student guard of honour for one parent at a school in Albrighton.

Cheers of exuberant joy and sunshine welcomed Alexandra Heath as she cycled through the gates of Birchfield School.

The chair of the Friends of Birchfield School group was raising money for nine charities in collaboration with pupils and staff.

Having left London on Wednesday morning, Alexandra settled in Woodstock that evening, before arriving in Bromsgrove on Thursday night, and reaching the school just after 2pm on Friday.

Alexandra tells of marathon charity bike ride

She said despite being the one on the saddle, it was nothing if not a team effort.

"I've been feeling a little euphoric from the second I finished my journey," she said.

"I had tears in my eyes riding up towards the school, as I could hear the voices and cheers of all the children.

"It's been an emotional time and I'm of course overwhelmed that I get to see my own children welcome me here.

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"It's a credit to all of the pupils that I've been able to complete this, it really was a team effort and there's no doubt I wouldn't have been able to do it without them."

A victory lap of the playing field

Students hopped on their own saddles and laced up their running shoes to join Alexandra for one last mile together around the school field.

The nine charities being supported are the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Midlands Air Ambulance, Albrighton Trust, Birmingham Dogs Home, Age UK, Acorns Children's Hospice, Childline, Riding for the Disabled Association and Birmingham Children's Hospital.

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"We tried to choose a good range of charities to support and ones that all of the students would take an interest in," added Alexandra.

"This has genuinely been a really big challenge for me but I can't express how delighted and proud I am to say I've achieved it.

"I've been through historic cobbled back roads in London, down The Grand Union Canal, through some of the most idyllic parts of the countryside – it's safe to say my sat nav was one of my biggest friends.

Alexandra gets a hug from her daughter Ottilie, 8

"But a big thank you must go to all of the students at this fantastic school and all of their families, along with the staff, my friends, family and support vehicle that followed me the whole way."

Sarah Morris, Birchfield School Headmistress, said the achievement goes hand in hand with the school's values.

"What an absolutely remarkable feat Mrs Heath has accomplished," she said.

"We've been outlining some new principles here this year; ambition, perseverance, aspiration, resilience, and hasn't she just shown them all.

"Somehow she's smiled all the way and I think it's a perfect lesson for the children to see you really can achieve anything if you want it badly enough."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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