Waconian cycles 85 miles for Ronald McDonald House

Active Sixth Form student Joel Kinsella contributed to raising half a million pounds for Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House is a charity that provides free accommodation for families with children in hospital.

As part of a number of fundraising efforts for the charity Joel and 12 others cycled 85 miles on the Etape Caledonia.  

The bike ride raised over £25,000 that contributed towards the half a million pounds that loved ones of Steve Burns raised for the charity.

Steve Burns, a friend of Joel and his family, who died of a rare cancer was an advocate for the charity. Joel said: “Steve really loved Ronald McDonald House and was really involved with helping it so that’s why we decided to raise the money for them.”

Joel wasn’t originally going to take part in the bike ride but when one of his brothers dropped out due to an injury he decided to step in.

He said: “When my brother couldn’t do it, I thought I had to because I couldn’t let my mum do it without anyone else from the family.

“That’s when my older brother decided to do it with us as well. He couldn’t let his little brother do it and him not.”

Altruistic Joel didn’t have much experience road cycling before he began the Etape Caledonia but was determined to complete it. “I was really nervous about the bike ride because I’d only been out road biking maybe 10 times before we started so I wasn’t that good.

“I was alright for the most of it but when we got to the last 8 or so miles I was really struggling. I’m happy I did though because not only did we do something good for a brilliant charity but it’s an achievement for me too.”

Cycling is now a hobby and a way to keep fit for Joel. “It was a really good experience. I do like cycling now and it’s nice to socialise with friends in a way that I’m keeping fit too.”