Macmillan Cycling Record-breaker
1232. Mavis Paterson
Mavis Paterson, aged 81, from Galloway, is the oldest woman to complete the 960 mile cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, raising over £60,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mavis took up the challenge in memory of her three children, Sandy, Katie and Bob, who died within four years of one another between 2012 and 2016, and to help provide an outlet for her grief. Having previously cycled across Canada at the age of 70 to fundraise for Macmillan, who had supported her mother and sister before they both died from cancer, Mavis was inspired to again support the charity for their work helping to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. Her record-breaking cycle ride, completed last month in 23 days, has attracted worldwide media attention and donations from over 1,300 people, beating her fundraising target by 300 per cent.
Mavis was presented with her award by her local MP Alister Jack (pictured below).
In a personal letter to Mavis, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your inspirational 960 mile cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, in memory of your children Sandy, Katie and Bob, has touched the hearts of thousands of people. The donations you have raised will make a real difference to the work of ‘Macmillan Cancer Support’.”
Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack said:
“I was absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister, in her busy final week in office, chose Mavis as an extremely worthy winner of her Points of Light award.
“Mavis’ previous energetic efforts for charity impressed me greatly but her latest marathon cycle is an example to us all, whatever our age.
“She is a terrific ambassador for Dumfries and Galloway. Her can-do attitude in raising money for a good cause, at a time she was grieving for members’ of her family, is an inspiration to others going through a difficult period in their lives.”
Derek Watson, Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
“The challenge Mavis set herself was astounding, she is absolutely incredible. We thoroughly enjoyed going on this journey with her, the remarkable determination and strength she showed throughout was truly inspiring.
“It is because of individuals like Mavis who go above and beyond to fundraise for us that we are able to continue to help the growing number of people who need us.
“We couldn’t be happier to see all the support and recognition Mavis has received for what she achieved, she is thoroughly deserving of it.”
“I never expected to get the attention that I have. It has been truly overwhelming, I still can’t believe it. I set out to raise money and do this in memory of my children and to see the reaction has been very humbling.
“The unimaginable grief I have is sometimes too much to bear. I wanted to give myself something to focus on and it’s certainly done the trick. There were points where wasn’t sure I’d make it but to now officially be the oldest woman to cycle the length of Britain is incredible.
“And to get the Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister in recognition of it is just fantastic.”