Bike father, bike son . . .
Caption: The photographs show Chris and JP, Abigail and Poppy shortly after they were born and the twins as they are today.
1 June 2012
A Manningtree father and son who had not ridden bikes for about 10 years will this month (June) attempt a fundraising cycle ride from London to Paris.
They are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for the Neonatal Unit (previously called the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)) at Colchester General Hospital where Chris Turner's twin daughters, Abigail and Poppy, spent four weeks after being born nine weeks early on 11 October last year.
Chris, who is 28, of Lydgate Close, and his father, JP (Jon Paul) Turner, 50, of Central Maltings, Kiln Lane, will set out on the 300-mile four-day ride on Wednesday 13 June.
In addition, JP, who works for an investment bank in London, has organised a Gala Charity Night at the 81 Leonard Street Art Gallery, London, on Friday 8 June.
Proceeds will be divided between the Neonatal Unit and the Whizz-Kidz charity. Tickets cost £25 each.
Poppy and Abigail, who weighed 2lb 15oz and 2lb 12oz respectively when they were born, are the first children for Chris and his wife, Kate.
Chris, who works in IT for a Watford-based company, said: "It was my Dad who suggested the London to Paris cycle ride so I signed up for it almost straightaway - after which he said he'd only been joking!
"Neither of us had ridden a bike for about 10 years but we've both bought new cycles and have been putting in the miles, often cycling 40 miles together at the weekend."
"Poppy and Abigail both required extensive help from the Special Care Baby Unit and this is our way of saying thank you and to help its staff continue such a worthwhile service. They were phenomenal."
JP said: "To be able to contribute in this way has filled me with an enormous sense of pride as Poppy and Abigail's granddad."
"It's the least I could do to show my appreciation for the sterling work the SCBU do day-in-day-out for parents like my son and his wife."
Chris aims to raise £1,500 while his father is hoping to achieve a similar total from the cycle ride and the Gala Charity Night.
His sponsors include the Simply Thai takeaway in Station Road, Manningtree; Chilvers fish and chip shop in High Street, Manningtree; Hastings Insurance Services, Newmarket; and Attwells solicitors, Ipswich.
Chris said his daughters were still given regular check-ups at Colchester General Hospital but were making good progress. They now weigh about 12lbs.
Ironically, the Turners plan to complete their ride during Bike Week, which is 16-24 June.
For more information about the Gala Charity Night, contact JP Turner. Tel 07595 895353; email JP Turner
To sponsor Chris Turner, go to Just Giving - Chris Turner
To sponsor JP Turner, go to Just Giving - JP Turner