A WIRRAL cyclist will return to a beach in South-eastern Spain as part of a fundraising journey in his wife's memory later this month.

Keith Dawson will set off from Wirral Hospice St John's, where wife Julie Mountford died just over a year ago.

He will travel to Portsmouth, from where he will catch a ferry to Santander before heading on to Benicassim, which lies on the Mediterranean coast to the north of Valencia.

The resort has special significance to Keith, as this is where Julie last walked on sand and last swim in the sea in October, 2014.

Julie was born in Birkenhead, where her mum and many of her relatives still live, and lived on the Wirral for the vast majority of her life.

After completing a degree in psychology, Julie qualified as a social worker and spent her working life helping others.

She worked mainly as a mental health social worker in Wirral and Cheshire, and was also a senior manager in the NHS.

Wirral Globe:

Keith pictured with wife Julie, who died last year 

Keith's cycle ride is raising funds for The Julie Mountford Dawson Foundation, a charity that he established to honour Julie and which seeks to raise funds for services that help people who are living with cancer.

Paying tribute, Keith told the Globe: "Julie will live on in the hearts of all of those people whose lives she touched with such positive energy and grace; her family, her friends, and the people that used the health and social services that Julie devoted so much of her life to.

"The Julie Mountford Dawson Foundation is just one practical way in which Julie’s love and positive energy can live on."

His journey will see Keith cycle to Portsmouth, where he will catch a ferry to Santander, and then to Benicassim, which lies on the Mediterranean coast to the north of Valencia.

Keith was compelled to return to Benicassim as this is where, in October 2014, Julie last walked on sand and last swim in the sea.

Wirral Globe:

Keith Dawson's wife Julie Mountford, who died last year, pictured near the beach Keith will return to during charity cycle ride

He said: "I'd probably have done my ride anyway; it has provided a focus during dark times.

"But it will hopefully help to keep Julie’s memory alive. And if I can raise funds to help people living with cancer, that can only be a good thing."

Wirral Globe:

Keith pictured with wife Julie, who died last year 

The original fundraising target for Keith's ride (£1,000) has been reached and the foundation will be donating this to Wirral Hospice.

Any more money raised will be divided equally between the hospice, Maggie’s Centre at Clatterbridge, Wirral Holistic Care Services & 2 national charities - MacMillan Cancer Support and CANCERactive.

For more details, visit www.juliemountford.org 

Donations to Keith’s ride can be made to mydonate.bt.com/events/ridingbacktojuliesbeach/297031.

Alternatively, a cheque (payable to The Julie Mountford Dawson Foundation) may be sent to c/o Wirral Connect, Unit 30 Woodside Business Park CH41 1EL.