(L-R: Liz Tinkler, Edwina Sorkin, Helen Stobart, Kate Sleath & Kerrie Ellison

Beijing Biddies Team Photo: (L-R) Liz Tinkler, Edwina Sorkin, Helen Stobart, Kate Sleath & Kerrie Ellison

Press release 17 February 2016
Official send-off for Beijing Biddies Arctic Challenge team

The Beijing Biddies Arctic Challenge team will be given an official send-off from Carlisle city centre as they hit the road for their non-stop charity drive next Wednesday (February 24).
The team of five women will start their 2,700-mile journey to the Arctic from the Old Town Hall where the mayor of Carlisle, Councillor Steve Layden, will wave them off alongside family, friends and supporters.
The women aim to drive to Nordkapp, 350 miles inside the Arctic Circle, in the toughest winter conditions to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. The constant threat of snowstorms and winter temperatures that are liable to drop to -40C means that they have no idea how long the journey will take.
The team of Edwina Sorkin, of Newbiggin-on-Lune, Kirkby Stephen; Kate Sleath, from Wetherby, in Yorkshire; Helen Stobart and Liz Tinkler, from Penrith; and Kerrie Ellison, from Kendal; will be driving a Volvo XC90 and a Volvo XC60, sponsored by Lloyd of Carlisle.
Natasha Patel, Cancer Research UK local fundraising manager for Cumbria, said: “These five ladies are fun, fearless and bursting with energy and enthusiasm. I’ve no doubt they’ll make it to the Arctic but we need support from the people of Cumbria to back them on their way, sponsor a mile and help Cancer Research UK to fund vital research to help more women, men and children in the county who are affected by cancer.”
Sue McDonald of Macmillan Cancer Support said: “At Macmillan, we are thrilled to continue our involvement with the Beijing Biddies. The forthcoming challenge will really test their mettle whilst raising much needed sponsorship to help local cancer patients who often find every day a challenge!”
For more information, visit beijingbiddies.co.uk

Note to editors: You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to cover this event outside the Old Town Hall, Green Market, Carlisle, CA3 8JE.
Date and time: Wednesday, February 24, between 10.15-11am.
NB: The mayor is due to arrive between 10.30-10.45am and the team will be available for photos and interviews until their departure just before 11am.

Friday 15th January: Today the Beijing Biddies receive the keys to their two sponsored vehicles from Volvo Carlisle. You can view and download the press release below.

Press release
Beijing Biddies Arctic Challenge Team Building Press Release
Read below, or click to download press release here
Press release 11 November 2015

Beijing Biddies to hit the road again for Arctic challenge

Less than two years after driving to Beijing in just 29 days for charity the self-styled Beijing Biddies are taking to the road again…this time driving non-stop from Cumbria to the Arctic Circle.

For their latest challenge in aid of the UK’s two leading cancer charities, Edwina Sorkin, aged 70, and Kate Sleath (65) will team up with three other women as they attempt to drive 2,700 miles to the Arctic Circle in the toughest winter conditions.

Helen Stobart (50), Liz Tinkler (49) and Kerrie Ellison (44), all from Cumbria, will join forces with the Beijing Biddies to drive through Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway as they head for Nordkapp, 350 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

The Beijing Biddies Arctic Challenge will raise money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The team will set off from Carlisle on February 24, 2016, in two Volvo XC90 cars that have been provided by Carlisle-based Lloyd Motor Group, sponsors of the challenge.

However because of unpredictable weather conditions and possible road closures due to snow, they have no idea how long the trip will take. Temperatures may dip to -40 during the journey and the sun stays below the horizon during the day in winter months.

“Our aim is to drive there without any overnight stops,” said Edwina. “At all times we will have two people driving, one person navigating and two people resting or sleeping.

“We’ve been told that when a road closes because of bad weather, drivers pull over and wait in a queue for the snow plough to come through, which can take a few hours or a couple of days. It’s going to be tough but that’s the challenge.”

Edwina, who runs luxury guesthouse Cheskin House in Newbiggin-on-Lune, near Kirkby Stephen, has spent months planning the trip and finding three new teammates. The key to the success of the next project was finding the right people who could commit to undertaking the challenge and the rigorous training in the run-up to it.

She said: “I am delighted that Helen, Liz and Kerrie are taking up the challenge. They are all hugely enthusiastic, adventurous and experienced fundraisers and they each bring different strengths to the team, so Kate and I feel very lucky to have them on board.”

Kate Sleath, from Wetherby in West Yorkshire, has admitted that she struggled at times on the road trip to Beijing. However, having completed the challenge she knows that it takes more than just a spirit of adventure.

She said: “I know from experience that you need grit and determination to succeed against all the odds and we have certainly found that in Helen, Liz and Kerrie!”

Cancer Research will use the money to support the Add-Aspirin phase III trial that they are funding with the National Institute for Health Research. The study, which will run for up to 12 years, aims to find out if taking aspirin every day for five years can stop or delay cancers that have been caught and treated at an early stage from returning. A staggering 11,000 patients will be recruited who have recently had, or are having, treatment for bowel, breast, oesophagus, prostate or stomach cancer.

Macmillan will use the money raised from the challenge to help make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need as they face the toughest fight of their life.
There are 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK today, and as more people live longer with their cancer, this number is set to grow to 4 million by 2030.

Natasha Patel, Cancer Research UK local fundraising manager for Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: “Edwina and Kate’s last challenge was one of the most interesting we’d come across but with their journey to the Arctic they’ve come up with something even more testing to continue to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and help us to drive forward our life-saving research. We wish the Beijing Biddies and their new recruits the very best of luck with this exciting challenge.”

Sue McDonald of Macmillan Cancer Support said: “At Macmillan, we are thrilled to continue our involvement with the Beijing Biddies. The forthcoming challenge will really test their mettle whilst raising much needed sponsorship to help local cancer patients who often find every day a challenge!”

Gary Horn, Lloyd Volvo head of business, said: “We are delighted to be supporting such an exciting challenge and two important charities.”

Watch the team being interviewed about the challenge in this YouTube clip!

ENDS

(Individual head and shoulder shots of the team are available on the team page)

Media contact:

Alison Knight cragvale@btinternet.com

07811 380330