STAFF and pupils from a Wirral college will be taking on a cycling challenge for a cancer charity.

Birkenhead Sixth Form College has been supporting Maggie’s since 2018 and have raised more than £11,000 for the charity who helps people living with cancer and their friends and families.

This year, staff and students will be virtually cycling the distance between all 26 Maggie’s Centres in the UK.

Alan Redfern, head of fine art at the college, will be completing the entire challenge over 11 days on the ZWIFT platform before and after work.

The total distance of the challenge is 1325 miles, cycling approximately six to eight hours each day.

Students and other members of staff will be aiming to ride the same distance over five days using three indoor bikes, with an extra incentive to keep up or catch Alan.

Alan will be starting 'Combat cancer cycle challenge for Maggie's Cancer charity' on Tuesday, May 14 and the students and staff will be starting on Monday, May 20.

Alan from Maghull, Liverpool, has worked at Birkenhead Sixth Form College for 15 years, he started supporting Maggie’s in 2018 when he completed a coast-to-coast challenge running 214 miles over four days.

Alan said: ‘’The reason for doing the challenge is quite easy.

“So many people I know, family members, friends, staff and students (and their families) have suffered or sadly passed away from cancer.

“My wife’s family have been devastated by cancer and she has lost two uncles and an auntie to various types of cancer.

“She currently has another uncle who is terminal with cancer.

“One of my best friends growing up lost his mum to cancer when we were in our early teens, seeing him go through that loss when we really didn’t understand what was happening was so difficult; so, cancer has been around my life for as long as I can remember.

“Maggie’s Centre’s didn’t exist then, but I know how people who have used Maggie’s Centres across the country find them invaluable.

“I don’t think cases of cancer are declining, in fact I believe it’s the opposite, so we need places such as Maggie’s more than ever.’’

Other members of staff from the college completing the challenge include, Nicholas Whittaker from Chester, a sports teacher from who has worked at the college for two years and Liam Dawson from Liverpool, head of graphics who has been worked at the college for seven years.

Combined the trio have helped make this challenge possible, from creating the logo to managing the event in the college for the students.

Maggie’s Fundraising Manager, Sasha Mathias, delivered a talk to the college when Maggie’s and Birkenhead Sixth Form College started working in partnership.

Alan added: ‘’I remember Sasha coming into the College in 2017/18 and talking eloquently to the staff about the work Maggie’s does and being a father of two amazing little girls, Sasha mentioned “how do you tell your family, your parents or your children you have cancer”.

“That is something that really stuck with me and from that point, I wanted to help Maggie’s.’’

Kathy Wright, Centre Head at Maggie’s Wirral, said: “We are so grateful to Birkenhead Sixth Form College for all their amazing support to Maggie’s.

“This challenge is incredible, and we would like to wish Alan, his colleagues and all the students the best of luck, and thank you so much for continuing to raise awareness of the much-needed support that we provide and for helping us to be there for those living with and beyond cancer.’’

If you would like to support, Alan, Nicholas, Liam and the staff and students at Birkenhead Sixth Form College you can visit their online giving page at here: