Gosport teacher doing a sponsored cycle for pancreatic cancer

From left: Jon Elford, James Batten, Richard Ayres and Mathew Goater at the Spinnaker Tower. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151847-3)
From left: Jon Elford, James Batten, Richard Ayres and Mathew Goater at the Spinnaker Tower. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151847-3)
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A group of local residents have organised a sponsored cycle to raise money for a cancer charity.

Gosport teacher James Batten and seven of his friends and family members, all from Portsmouth, are preparing to cycle 280 miles from Portsmouth to Paris in July 2016.

They will be doing this in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK, a charity aiming to fight pancreatic cancer in all forms.

The team will be getting a ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre, before cycling 70 miles to Evreux and another 70 miles to Paris. They will then cycle the reverse of this route as they cycle back to Portsmouth.

Mr Batten, a PE teacher and Deputy Head of House at Bridgemary School in Gosport, will be completing the cycle in memory of his grandparents, who both sadly lost their lives to pancreatic cancer. He is keen to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and has written to local businesses to ask if they can help with his cause.

On Sunday, the Spinnaker Tower lit up purple for the Purple Lights for Hope campaign, marking the start of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and Mr Batten was there to enjoy the event.

Only around four per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for more than five years and it is the fifth most common cause of all cancer deaths in the UK. Therefore Mr Batten feels that raising more awareness of it is vital.

‘Hopefully it will be very successful and my father is going to follow us in a support vehicle to resolve any punctures, so we should get there in good time,’ he said.

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: ‘Purple Lights for Hope presents a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.

‘One person is diagnosed with the disease in the UK every hour, and the disease has the lowest survival rate of all the 21 common cancers, so it really is crucial that we all find out more about it.’

There are currently two spaces left on the cycle ride and anyone is welcome to take part. To join, call 07824875469 and to donate to James Batten’s cause, please visit justgiving.com/teams/portsmouthtoparis.