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  • Melinda Murphy

5-year-old rides 100 miles for charity

Penny Gladman, from Boston Spa had only learned to ride a bike a few weeks before deciding that she wanted to cycle 100 miles with the aim of raising a pound per mile for charity to help children who had been affected by coronavirus.

So, the youngster, who is a pupil at Strawberry Fields Primary School in Garforth, set about her challenge which has required two bikes because her first one packed up 50 miles in.

She ended up making 15 times her original target and raising £1500 for Leeds Cares - the charity of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trusts, supporting eight areas which include Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Children’s Hospital, Leeds Cancer Centre, St James’s University Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Seacroft Hospital, Wharfedale Hospital and Leeds Dental Institute.

Now no longer a novice rider, Penny has turned quite the cycling pro for her age, already adept at riding cross-legged, side saddle and one-handed riding. Her father Gareth said: "We are so proud of Penny. When she first heard about the corona virus she wanted to sell her toys to raise funds to help people who were sick. But having recently learnt to ride a bike she quickly turned her focus to cycling. She has cycled more miles than we thought she ever would, and I think we’ve found a hobby for life during lockdown.

“The experience has been amazing; Penny can’t quite get her head around how much money has been donated because of what she is doing. We were genuinely hoping to raise £100, so thank you from Penny, me and Penny’s mum, Kimberley, for everyone's amazing support.

“Leeds Children's Hospital do an awesome job, so please keep sharing the Group, tell your friends, tell your family, let's see just how much one little girl and her bike can raise for such a worthy cause.” Penny Gladman has raised 1500 for charity with a 100 mile cycle challenge. There is still time to donate to Penny's charity efforts via her page at

Esther Wakeman, CEO of Leeds Cares, added: “Penny is an incredible young girl. Her passion and dedication to cycle 100 miles for our charity is an inspiration to us all. She should be extremely proud of the money she has raised which will go towards caring for the young people in her region that need it the most.

“Through our work and much needed fundraising we are able to offer life saving equipment, research fellowships, state of the art technology and improvements to the patient environment. “On behalf of everyone at Leeds Cares, a huge thank you Penny for the amount you have raised and support you have given.”

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