I want to raise money to help victims of domestic violence. This money will go to Wearside Women In Need who face the closure of all 4 of their women's refuges because of a planned withdrawal of funding by Sunderland Council. Women will die as a result of that decision. We must save the women in Sunderland from men who will murder them.
At first my idea was really simple. I was riding along by the coast a couple of days ago and in my head thinking, as I often do, how many women are murdered as a result of domestic violence every year. How lucky I am to be riding my bike. Free. No one to tell me not to. Not any more.
This is not so for many women. Some women are with men who would smash their bike when they returned. Some women are with men who would call them too stupid, too fat, too selfish, too old, too useless to be doing something so simple and free as riding a bike. Some women can no longer ride a bike because they are dead. A man who they thought loved them, killed them.
So, for the rest of 2017, I will cycle for women who were murdered by men known to them in 2016. It is a big list. I will dedicate each ride to a woman. I cycled on Saturday for Katrina O'Hara. Stabbed to death by her partner Stuart Thomas.
The saddest thing is wondering if I have enough cycling days left in 2017 to honour the deaths of the women murdered in 2016. That was a very sobering thought. But I will do my best.
I promise that I will never ride less than 10 miles for any woman on the list... my usual ride is between 20 and 40 miles. I promise I will ride till my lungs scream. These women were worth it. Let us honour those women and celebrate their lives.
Wearside Women In Need have kindly agreed to accept the money. Claire Moore who runs the Dead Women Walking Murder March is providing me with the list of women.
As with the last fund I set up.... no money will touch my bank account at any point and Go Fund Me will direct funds straight to the charity once it is completed. They will add their bank account and provide verification.
Please help me to help women escape men who may kill them.