A PEEBLESSHIRE family are taking part in a poignant coast-to-coast cycle in aid of a charity close to their hearts.

The ride for the Ronald McDonald House will take place over three days in April, starting in Annan, and the first stop will be in Innerleithen.

It was organised by Innerleithen man Will Clarke in support of his cousin Louise Richards and her husband Joe from Cupar, who lost their daughter Eilidh to mitochondrial disease in September 2019 aged just six weeks.

After being diagnosed with the incurable condition, Eilidh was transferred from Edinburgh to Kings College Hospital in London, which was 400 miles from the couple's home in Fife.

Ronald McDonald House provided accommodation to Louise and Joe during their time in the capital so that they could spend every minute with their daughter Eilidh.

During that all too brief time the couple were able to make a lot of memories with their daughter and took photos every day.

In addition to Will, the other cyclist will be Eilidh’s dad Joe, grandfather Mick Plunkett, uncle Luke Plunkett, family friend Jamie McCubbin, of Innerleithen, and Will’s mum Chris Clarke.

Chris’ husband Peter Clarke and Louise will drive the support vehicles.

Chris said: “The Ronald McDonald House Charities UK charity is absolutely incredible. It was a home from home for Louise and Joe and it was important that they had somewhere to stay which was close to the hospital.

“Our target is £5,000 which funds one room in the house for one year and we are around £4,200 so far. But it would be great if we could pass the target and possibly fund a room for another year.

“A new house has opened next to the Sick Kids at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary so we plan to stop off there for a break during the journey.

“We’ve been training hard and I’m confident that we will all finish although I’m 70 and realistic enough to know I may need a spell in the support vehicle.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK provides free accommodation to families with children having treatment in hospital.

Their houses offer much more than just a place to stay; they provide family activities, peer support, respite, and many other services.

This means that families can be by their child’s bedside in a matter of moments, while maintaining a degree of normal life with reduced emotional and financial strain.

The charity helps more than 6,000 families each year.

Donations can be made at the rayoflightride JustGiving page.