Brotherly love prompts Mick to cycle 90 miles to raise cash for Preston hospice

The brother of ex-soldier Dave Topping has said a heartfelt "thank you" by cycling 90 miles to the hospice which cared for him in his final days.
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Mick Topping, who lives in Nottinghamshire, took on the gruelling challenge to raise money for St Catherine's at Lostock Hall to show his family's gratitude for the way the home looked after Dave before his death from cancer in September at the age of 61.

The former firefighter and forces veteran raised more than £5,000 for the charity as he and a team of volunteers pedalled all the way from Mansfield Fire Station to the hospice, not far from where Dave lived in Leyland.

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Mick said: “The care my brother received whilst in the hospice was tremendous, nothing was too much trouble and the staff were so attentive.

Dave Topping was cared for in St Catherine's before he died aged 61.Dave Topping was cared for in St Catherine's before he died aged 61.
Dave Topping was cared for in St Catherine's before he died aged 61.

“Not only that, the emotional support and advice Dave’s wife Cath and our family received helped so much at such a difficult time

“I thought I should do something in memory of Dave and aimed to raise some funds for the hospice and thought that I would ride from my home in Mansfield to Preston.

“I mentioned it at his funeral to some of the Army lads, and it snowballed from there.”

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Mick Topping (right) pictured with brother Dave.Mick Topping (right) pictured with brother Dave.
Mick Topping (right) pictured with brother Dave.
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Dave served with the Royal Artillery, completing his 24 years in the Army as a staff sergeant.

Brother Mick, 59, also served in the same regiment before becoming a firefighter. He has lived in the Mansfield area for 35 years.

The team of 11 riders rode through Derbyshire's Peak District, the route including more than 4,500 feet of hills to climb.

Emma Jacovelli, head of community engagement at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “The cyclists did an incredible job pedalling in the heat, and we were delighted to welcome them to the hospice for refreshments at the end of their gruelling ride.

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“I’d like to say a very big ‘thank you’ for their amazing support – it really means so much to us, and will help us to be there for local families at the hospice and in the community.”

Anyone who would like to contribute to the cycle ride fund can do so at a JustGiving page: