Four members of staff from Derby College's Little Explorers Nursery at the Broomfield Hall campus in Morley are in training for a 92 mile bike ride next month to raise money for specialist hospital equipment and support at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre.
Nursery Manager Kate Cox and colleagues Melissa Bryon, Heather Boddice and Rowan Moore are part of Team Lion Hart – alongside parents Roger Hart, a former Derby College employee and his wife Alice, a former student at the College. They will be joined by Su Wall another former employee of Derby College and family friend Emma Strange.
Team Lion Hart will set off from the Queen's Medical Centre at 6am on June 17 and are aiming to complete the 92 mile cycle ride by 6pm that evening.
The Long Eaton couple's youngest son Lucas was born on May 5th 2015, three months prematurely weighing only 1000 grammes.
He remains on oxygen 24/7 due to chronic lung disease and has spent the past year in and out of hospital with several physical and neurological complications due to his several prematurity.
His older sister Madeline (4) attends Little Explorers Nursery and Kate Cox explained that the staff there were keen to support the family on their bid to raise £3,000 for the hospital's neonatal ward and for OPUS Music who play music regularly to the children.
Kate said: "The Hart family have faced so much in the past year that we wanted to be part of this fund raising challenge – even though most of us have not been on a bike for many years.
"Madeline is coping incredibly well with the disruption to family life because of the time that Lucas needs to spend in hospital.
"We hope that Lucas will eventually be able to come to the nursery as well and Mel and myself have recently completed extensive medical training so that we can care for him when he does join us."
Alice Hart continued: "Little Explorers are not just Madeline's nursery – they have become a second family to us and have been a huge support to us.
"We are delighted that they have agreed to join Team Lion Hart for this cycling challenge and, with the generosity of so many people, we are likely to exceed the £3,000 fund raising target before we set out.
"The money raised will go to buy equipment and items for the neonatal ward to make life more bearable for families like ourselves who have become long-term inpatient families. It will also help Opus Music who come to the ward every week to play music which is something that Lucas particularly enjoys."
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