TWO friends are gearing up for a challenging cycle ride, inspired by family members diagnosed with cancer.

Jonny Cochrane and Andy Thorp are setting off from Holy Island in Northumberland today (Wednesday) on a three-day, 300-mile ride to Helmsley.

The pair, who have been friends for more than 20 years, having met in the police force, are fundraising for Macmillian Cancer Support, having both had family members diagnosed with cancer.

“The Macmillan support for both our families has been amazing and we wanted to push ourselves to the limit to raise some money,” said Jonny, who is from Helmsley.

“It’s difficult to know what to do in these circumstances, but we think putting ourselves through three hard days is nothing compared to the fight against cancer.”

The friends are already closing in on their £750 target ahead of the start of their journey, which will see them travel more than 100 miles per day, with a combined climb of 14,000 feet.

Both are keen cyclists and regularly cycle to work, but neither have taken part in such a challenge.

“Macmillan have been a great support throughout to both our families,” added Andy, from Wombwell, in Barnsley.

“We both wanted to try and raise money so that other families can carry on being supported as they fight cancer.”

Macmillian Cancer Support provides physical, financial and emotional support to cancer patient, families and friends.

Staff and nurses provided support through every step by offering palliative care and resources.

Adele Burrough, Macmillan fundraising manager in Yorkshire, said: “We are humbled at the challenge that both Andy and Jonny have set themselves in honour of their family members.

“Their efforts will be a big help for people living with cancer, especially throughout what is currently an uncertain time.”

To donate to Jonny and Andy’s fundraising appeal, visit