Horsham couple’s cycling challenge in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis charity

From left to right - Matt Hilliard, Matt Church, Gill Hilliard & Kevin Hilliard SUS-150630-100409001
From left to right - Matt Hilliard, Matt Church, Gill Hilliard & Kevin Hilliard SUS-150630-100409001

Gill and Kevin Hilliard are cycling 500 miles from Edinburgh to Horsham to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis charity (NACC).

The challenge, to be completed in six days, will begin at Edinburgh Castle on Sunday 5th July and finish in Horsham on Friday 10th July.

The journey is approximately 500 miles and will see the couple stop at places such as Carlisle, Kendal in the Lake District, Buxton in the Peak District, Coventry and Aylesbury.

Gill and Kevin are hoping to raise awareness and funds for research of this chronic bowel disease, currently for which there is no known cure.

Around 260,000 people in the UK have Colitis and Crohn’s and more than half are diagnosed when young.

Crohn’s and Colitis UK is the major UK charity, which offers information and support to all those affected and also helps fund vital research.

Gill said: “Our daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s at the age of 20. During the last four years, this disease has had quite a devastating impact on her life.

“She attends hospital every 8 weeks for treatment and in this time we have met some wonderful nurses who offer plenty of care and support.

“ Without this, our daughter would definitely not be able to lead a normal lifestyle. We are extremely proud of our daughter and we would like to do something positive to help her and all those who are affected by this condition.”

Gill, who has lived in Horsham all of her life and attended to Millais and Collyer’s, is a keen sports person who has played stoolball for Roffey and Angmering and also coached junior members in this game. She is a keen Brighton football supporter and works for a grounds maintenance company based in Capel.

She has been married for 30 years to Kevin who has also lived in Horsham most of his life.

He attended Forest School and Crawley College and currently works for a national building contractor. He has been involved within the scouting movement and served on stoolball committees.

Gill added: “We are both keen cyclists and enjoy mountaineering. In March 2013 we walked the South Downs Way starting in Winchester and finishing in Eastbourne, approx 120 miles for the same charity. In October 2014 we walked the North Downs Way, starting in Dover and finishing in Farnham, approx 135 miles.

“We have managed to raise approximately £5000 for the Crohn’s & Colitis UK charity and would like to add to this total with this years challenge.”

Gill and Kevin’s son Matt and friends of the family, Ian Bannister and Matt Church are also joining them and lending their support for the fundraiser.

If you would like to donate to this charity, please visit www.justgiving.com/gill-hilliard2

Further information about Crohn’s & Colitis can be found at www.crohns&colitis.org.uk