Rob goes the extra mile for charity

He is a gardener by day but Rob Jackman had to dig deep when he took to his bicycle last weekend.

While many people enjoyed the fine weather with leisurely bike rides around the countryside, Mr Jackman was in the saddle for a full 24 hours and completed a bottom-numbing 162 miles.

But there was a good reason for this endurance effort - raising money for the Willow Foundation, the charity which strives to create a unique and unforgettable day for seriously ill young adults.

The green-fingered gent, who is also a teaching assistant at Litcham Primary School, said he swam hundreds of lengths in the pool and spent hours in the saddle in preparation but was relieved to have achieved the marathon event.

Mr Jackman left his home in Whissonsett, near Fakenham, at 10am on Saturday and finished at 10am on Sunday. He was joined by family and friends along the way including 10-year-old daughter Emily, wife Nita and sister Emma. The route took in many Norfolk towns and villages including Dereham, North Elmham and out to Castle Acre.

He said he was inspired to raise money for the charity, which was established in 1999 by Bob Wilson, after reading the soccer legend's autobiography in which he wrote about losing his daughter to cancer.

As he had also had a brush with cancer two years ago 33-year-old Mr Jackman decided he should not wait any longer to help raise some much-needed funds.

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'It brought it home that I need to do something now and not put it off. Each contribution is vital because giving people a special day is just as important as their treatment.

'Willow does not just help people with cancer but a range of people who all deserve some special moments with their families.'

He added: 'I am really pleased to have been able to ride for, support and get the Willow Foundation's name out there. It truly is a wonderful charity. The money has really started to come in and hopefully I can raise as much as possible to help people between the ages of 16 years and 40 years have their own special day. They acted as an inspiration throughout the ride.'

To donate visit his Just Giving page at