Bristol to Edinburgh cycling challenge in memory of baby Beatrice

Superfit friends Emma Steele and Helen Jackson from Gloucestershire are donning their Lycra in preparation for an epic 420-mile cycling challenge, to raise funds for Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity).

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 6:17 am
Emma Steele and Helen Jackson are cycling for Sands

The pair will cycle from Bristol to Edinburgh over three consecutive days from May 17-19 and will cover 140 miles per day.

Last year, Emma’s old school friend Zoe found out her and husband Rory’s baby had died just three days before her due date. The baby girl, Beatrice, was delivered just over two days later.

Emma Steele said: “I was devastated to hear that Beatrice had died. I was lost for words for my friend Zoe and I felt there was nothing I could do to make the situation better. I wanted to do something to help, which is why Helen and I came up with the idea of a sponsored cycling challenge to raise money for Sands.

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“As Beatrice didn’t come home with Zoe and Rory, the charity Sands helped to ensure they had memories of their daughter.

“They provided Zoe and Rory with a memory box, which included Beatrice’s hand and footprints and photographs. Sands also provided much needed emotional and practical support to Zoe and Rory which is why we wanted to raise funds for the charity.”

As Zoe had recently moved to Edinburgh, Emma and Helen came up with the idea of cycling from Bristol to the Capital.

Helen Jackson said: “Emma and I thought what better way to convey support than to raise much-needed funds for Sands by taking on an enduring and challenging journey. We hope the funds we raise will enable Sands to continue to support other families at an absolutely devastating time for them. 

“As a mother of three myself, I’ve joined forces with Emma to offer everything I’ve got to ensure she succeeds in her aim of cycling from Bristol to Edinburgh.”

Emma started cycling just one year ago and Helen only two and a half years ago, so the pair are not experienced cyclists, but rather hobby cyclists who are passionate about raising funds for Sands.

They have been training five days a week at their local cycling club, where they are currently building up their mileage, fitness and learning about calorie consumption.

Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands said: “Sadly, 15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK, shattering the lives of expectant parents, their families and friends and the people who care for them.”

Emma and Helen will be self-funding their challenge including training, clothes, bicycles, maintenance, accommodation and fuel for their two support vehicles.

To sponsor Emma and Helen visit: or