The parents of brain tumour victim Katy Holmes were stunned to receive a telephone call out of the blue from fashion designer Jeff Banks telling them he would like to take part in a cycling venture for the charity launched in memory of their daughter.
Paula and David Holmes, of Margaret Road, Penwortham, near Preston, met the celebrity designer in September at the 2012 WellChild Awards in London where their eight-year-old daughter Charley, now nine, was crowned Most Caring Child for the way she cared for her sister and shielded her from her devastating diagnosis.
The awards ceremony was attended by a host of celebrities and famous faces - including Prince Harry who is patron of the WellChild charity.
David Holmes chatted to Jeff Banks during the ceremony and told him about Katy’s battle and subsequent death from an inoperable brain tumour and about the Katy Holmes Trust launched in her honour.
David told Jeff he was planning to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End in August 2013 and Jeff expressed an interest and David gave him a business card with the family’s contact details.
David said: “It was great chatting to Jeff and he did seem very interested in the John O’Groats to Lands End challenge.
“However, when I gave him my business card, I didn’t really expect anything to come from it.”
To the couple’s delight and shock, they received a telephone call from Jeff himself telling them that he would love to take part in the cycle venture with David and anyone else participating.
Paula, who also has an 11-month-old baby Scarlet, said: “Dave and I are over the moon at this unexpected development.
“We could not believe it when Jeff Bank called us up to offer his support. We are astounded that he remembered us from the WellChild Awards and are very grateful to him.
“Jeff also told us that he was going to get some of his friends to join the cycle too and he told us that the last time he and his celebrity friends took part in the John O’Groats to Lands End challenge, they raised an amazing £260,000 for charity.
“This is a huge boost for the Katy Holmes Trust and we are thrilled to have Jeff on board.”
David Holmes is aiming to get sponsorship of £1 a mile to reach a target of £1,011 and he is encouraging as many people as possible to join him in the challenge.
Land’s End to John o’ Groats is the whole length of Great Britain between two extremities in the southwest and northeast. It takes most cyclists between 10 and 14 days.
• If you would like to sponsor David, visit www.justgiving.com/davidholmes9. Visit www.katyholmestrust.co.uk to find out more.