A STUDENT is using pedal power to help the hospice that cared for his mother in her dying dies.

James Hewitt, 44, organised a fund-raising static cycle ride with staff and students at New College, Durham ahead of the St Cuthbert’s Hospice London to Paris Cycle Ride in July, which he plans to ride in.

Mr Hewitt, of Gainford, Chester-le-Street, said: “I’m aiming to raise as much as possible even before I go on the London to Paris Cycle Ride and this is one way of doing that.

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“I’m so grateful to all the people who are climbing aboard the exercise bike.”

Mr Hewitt , who is studying applied sports exercise science at the college, lost his mother Daphne, 74, to pancreatic cancer last August.

During her stay at St Cuthbert’s, she and Mr Hewitt heard about the London to Paris Cycle Ride.

“I promised mum I’d do it and I’m going to do it. I can’t think of a better cause,” Mr Hewitt said.

“The hospice helped my mum and the whole family tremendously. The doctors, nurses and everybody there provided excellent care. They made sure she was comfortable. I’m proud to help St Cuthbert’s Hospice.”

Lily Axworthy, St Cuthbert’s Hospice Event Co-ordinator, said: “We are incredibly grateful to James for taking part in our Cycle Ride and to the kind people at the college who are helping him do that.

"We’re incredibly dependent on fund raising in the community help us raise £1.2m a year for the services we provide.”

Mr Hewitt’s Just Giving site is at http://www.justgiving.com/James-Hewitt4