A CHARITY which provides much-needed respite for families of children who are seriously ill has been given a big boost.
Sam’s Haven was set up by the family of Sam Merrick, from Denmead, who suffers from a range of serious conditions.
They fundraise to send families to their especially-adapted caravan in West Sussex.
Last month Lee Steel, who works for blinds manufacturer Thomas Sanderson, swapped his overalls for Lycra when he cycled from Portsmouth to Great Ormond Street Hospital to raise money for the charity.
On top of the gruelling 70-mile ride, Lee, who has worked as a conservatory valeter for the Waterlooville company for almost 20 years, also gave the holiday caravan a free deep clean.
Lee said: ‘I’m not a particularly keen cyclist so that part of it was a bit of a challenge, especially when we got to the Surrey hills.
‘That said, the team spirit of the group and knowing we were raising money for such a brilliant cause, kept me going.’
Lee was joined by Sam’s parents Paul and Louise Merrick on the fundraising ride and some other friends.
He managed to raise £350 for Sam’s Haven, which Thomas Sanderson has matched to bring the fundraising total to nearly £700.
Sam’s mum Louise said: ‘We’re very grateful to Lee and Thomas Sanderson for all their support.
‘The caravan is looking brand new and we know it’ll make a difference to the families who come and use it.’
Go to samshaven.com. To find out more about Thomas Sanderson go to thomas-sanderson.co.uk.