Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham, on his sponsored cycle for Richard House Children’s Hospice

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- Credit: Archant

Richard House Children’s Hospice, Beckton, opened in 2000. At first, it was the only children’s hospice in London.

It was the brainchild of nurse Anthea Hare and was named after her late brother.

It provides respite and terminal care for children whose conditions mean they are not expected to live into adulthood.

I supported the long campaign for Richard House before it opened, and it is a privilege now to be a patron.

Thanks to a miracle of architecture and landscaping, Richard House – just a few hundred yards from London City Airport – is a haven of peace and tranquillity.

Led since opening by its visionary chief executive, Peter Ellis, it has done a tremendous job in caring for children and providing support for their families.

The hospice receives only limited public funds. It relies on charitable donations and on income from Richard House charity shops around East London.

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On July 12 to 13, I will join a large group cycling 161 miles to Amsterdam from London City Airport to raise funds for the hospice.

The airport is a long-term supporter of Richard House, and chief executive Declan Collier will be cycling too. Each cyclist has a target of £1,500 in sponsorship.

On day one we will ride more than 80 miles to Harwich, and then take the overnight boat to Hook of Holland. The following day we hope to reach Amsterdam.

This will be by far and away the furthest I have ever cycled.

I plan to step up training. By July 12 I will be ready to emulate Bradley Wiggins! London City Airport has organised flights back.

Please contribute generously by following the links or send me a cheque at the House of Commons made out to Richard House. To find out more about Richard House, visit www.richardhouse.org.uk.!

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