BRIDGWATER AREA NEWS: Oli cycles from John O’Groats to Lands End in memory of sister

BRIDGWATER AREA NEWS: Oli cycles from John O’Groats to Lands End in memory of sister

THE brother of a Sedgemoor woman who tragically died last year has cycled from John O’Groats to Lands End in just 62 hours in her memory.

Much-loved Heidi Hopley, 41, of Clare Street, North Petherton, who worked as a senior therapist at the Brainwave charity, was found outside her home on the morning of October 1, 2016, following a night out at Bridgwater Fair.

Her sudden tragic death prompted brother Oli Felstead to undertake an epic personal challenge in her memory with all money raised going to the Brainwave charity that she had dedicated most of her working life to.

Oli chose to cycle John O’Groats to Lands End without the aid of a support team and in an amazing 62 hours over seven days of cycling distances of around 135 miles a day!BRIDGWATER AREA NEWS: Oli cycles from John O’Groats to Lands End in memory of sister

The classic ride is from Lands End to John O’Groats and is completed in around nine days so, Oli really challenged himself!

PHOTO - TOP: Oli Felstead after completing his marathon ride.

PHOTO - RIGHT: Heidi Hopley who died suddenly last year aged just 41.

Oli said: “Cycling 920 miles from John O’Groats to Lands End in 62 hours over seven days, solo and unsupported, was a fantastic experience that challenged me both physically and mentally.

“ I experienced all the elements; heavy-winds, torrential rain and baking hot sunshine.  There was also plenty of pain and euphoria, however, the pain was worth it as I am delighted to have raised over £4,000 for Brainwave, an amazing charity that helps children with disabilities achieve greater independence.

“My late sister, Heidi Hopley, worked for Brainwave for over 20 years so it is a charity close to my heart and I would like to thank everyone who generously sponsored me.”

Brainwave’s fundraising administrator, Alexis Hawkes, said: “Brainwave is so thankful to Oli and all his sponsors who raised this fantastic sum and it’s supporters like Oli who enable us to make a difference to children with disabilities and additional needs.

“We believe in a world where every child reaches their full potential.  Heidi , who was one of our therapists, was a much loved member of staff at the centre and she made such a difference to numerous children who have passed through the doors of the charity.”

An inquest held earlier this year determined Heidi had died of alcohol poisoning after drinking a half-a-pint of lager and three vodka and lemonades.