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'Stitch in Time' London to Paris Bike Ride

Photo shows left to right mannequin Ethel and Faye Wilson preparing for her marathon London to Paris cycle ride. There won’t be too much conversation on offer for Faye Wilson when she takes on the challenge of the London to Paris cycle ride next month in aid of Southend’s homeless charity HARP.

Even Ethel (see photo) the mannequin which Faye uses in her garment repair business Stitch In Time in London Road, Leigh, will be on the move to enhance HARP’s charity shop window in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff.

Brave Faye is going it alone on the mammoth 300 mile ride between May 20th and 23rd in support of HARP following a run of bad luck with her cycling buddies.

Ill health meant a change of plan with her team mates and an opportunity for her mum Sally to step in a few weeks ago to join her on the ride. But disaster struck a few days ago when Sally broke her wrist and has had to pull out of the cycle ride.

Now Faye, 27, who until a few months ago had not ridden her bike since she was16, is in hot training clocking up scores of miles for the big event. Next weekend she takes part in the Tough Mudder, a 12 mile obstacle course in West London to limber up.

Faye, a long time supporter of HARP has even provided unwanted clothes for its London Road charity shop when, after three months, customers have failed to pick up clothes left for alterations.

She has even donated Ethel the mannequin which has adorned her needlework workshop since she opened eight years ago.

Faye said: “We will miss Ethel she has been with us from the beginning when we sold dresses but we don’t have a need for her now so we are donating her to HARP.”

“When I decided on the cycle ride I wanted to support a local charity and HARP does such wonderful work helping the homeless get back on their feet so it seemed the natural choice. I’m hoping to raise about £1,000 in sponsorship.”

“After my team mates were not able to take part I was so pleased mum was going to join me. I feel so sorry that she has broken her wrist. She is so disappointed not to be joining me. I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m determined to do it.”

“I have paid the £700 to enter which includes somewhere to stay each night over the four day trip. I wanted to make sure that every penny I raise will go to HARP. I’m excited but pretty nervous.”

HARP is Southend’s independent, award winning charity which tackles homelessness and provides the only Emergency Night Shelter for the single homeless at The Bradbury Centre in York Road. In providing an array of essential services, emergency housing and long-term solutions HARP enables the homeless to rebuild their lives and live independently in the community.

To donate to Faye’s just giving page go to

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