WHITCHURCH'S Macmillan Fundraising Group has welcomed one intrepid cyclist intent on cycling nearly 3,000 miles in just over a month for the charity.

Ian McKay is undertaking the challenge in memory of his father, who died 50 years ago from cancer and has recorded his progress on Instagram.

Setting of from Bath, Ian will cycle the full length of Great Britain to John O'Groats, heading back down south to Lowestoft, before returning westwards back to Bath.

He has set a goal of £5,000 for Macmillan, and had already raised half of that total on reaching Whitchurch.

He was welcomed into the town by Eileen Livesey and other representatives from the charity, with which he enjoyed a brief tea break, before resuming his trip.

"The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of my father to cancer," said Ian. "Since then, the care that cancer patients receive has changed remarkably.

"More recently, I have lost my second father, and then my mother, both to cancer, but I remain incredibly grateful to all those in hospitals, care homes, and support agencies who showed compassion and medical professionalism to my parents, and to us.

"So to mark this anniversary I've signed up to #CW5000 to raise awareness and funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, as representatives of all those who showed care and compassion in my parents' final illnesses.

"The centrepiece to my challenge is between September and October when I'll be cycling 2,850 miles in 40 days around Britain, starting and ending in Bath.

"I'll travel north keeping left via Ardnamurchan to Dunnet Head and John O'Groats, then head south, still keeping left via Lowestoft Ness and back home, then I'll head south to Land's End and Lizard Point and home again.

"In total, I will climb the equivalent of 4.7 Mount Everests.

"On the route, I'll visit places of significance in the Macmillan story. I'll also visit friends and relatives who will (hopefully) look after me."

Eileen was glad to be able to welcome Ian to Whitchurch.

"On Saturday [Ian] stopped off in Whitchurch where he was greeted by old friends and by Whitchurch's Macmillan Fundraising Group," said Eileen.

"En route, he is visiting places of significance in the Macmillan story and with no support vehicle is being looked after by friends and relatives.

"Ian has already raised half of his target of £5,000 and was given a hearty send off as he left St Alkmund's Church to continue his journey north."

To follow Ian's progress visit https://www.instagram.com/cycle5000miles/ and to donate visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IanMcKay