A 20-year-old student from Redditch is taking on an emotional cycling challenge in memory of her best friend’s mum.

Olivia Salkeld will be cycling 45 miles in order to raise funds for St Richard’s Hospice, who looked after Helen Deaves before she died in December 2015, aged just 37.

She said: “Helen was my best friend’s mum when I was at school and was like a second mum to me.

"She was such a caring person and always gave great advice.

"Ever since Helen was in St Richard’s I wanted to do some fundraising for them.

"I couldn’t believe that such a great organisation relies on volunteers and charitable donations.”

Olivia will undertake the cycling challenge with her father Paul, a keen cyclist and fundraiser for the hospice.

She used to be a member of a cycling club and compete regionally, but hasn’t cycled for the past five years.

She said: “It is going to be a real challenge for me, coming back to cycling after such a break!”

Mrs Deaves was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2014.

In August 2015 she was also diagnosed with two brain tumours, and then in November she was referred to St Richard’s Hospice.

Antony Deaves, Helen’s husband, said: “I had never been in a hospice before we arrived.

"It was nothing like I had imagined, more like a hotel than the hospital I had envisaged.

“Helen was so thankful for the attention and help she received in those final days.

"Helen could speak a little and was thankful for the staff’s attentiveness and help.

"As a popular teacher, she had a vast amount of visitors every day and she loved this.

"She enjoyed ordering her food from the menu even though she knew that she wouldn’t be able to eat it all, this made her feel more human.

"We all knew she would die but just being able to do this made her feel like she hadn’t just been written off.

"It all added up to making her feel worthwhile and for this, as a family, we will always be truly grateful.”

The annual Bikeathon takes place on Sunday, July 1, with 16, 45 or 64-mile routes, starting and finishing at the hospice in Wildwood Drive.

To sign-up for the Bikeathon visit strichards.org.uk/bikeathon.