Five-year-old granddaughter of Arsenal legend raises thousands for hospice with mile-a-day cycling

PUBLISHED: 16:24 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:25 30 April 2020

Five-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye Allinson

Five-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye Allinson

Archant

The granddaughter of Arsenal legend Ian Allinson has raised nearly £6,000 for Garden House Hospice Care by cycling one mile a day.

Five-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye AllinsonFive-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye Allinson

Five-year-old Betty-Leigh Allinson, from Codicote, has already smashed her fundraising target of £500, and cycles each day wearing a different football shirt in honour of her granddad.

Betty is an Arsenal fan, and has accepted donated shirts from Stevenage FC, Watford and Borehamwood – but yesterday received the jewel in the crown: a signed shirt from David Beckham.

Betty has recently learnt to use her bike without stabilisers and it takes her about 20 minutes to complete the mile, all while cheered on by friends and family.

Her nanny, Jeanne Allinson, works as part of the fundraising team at Garden House Hospice, and Betty said she wanted to “help raise money” because “they have had to cancel all fundraising events and close the charity shops.”

Five-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye AllinsonFive-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye Allinson

“I’m going to wear my Arsenal kit for my granddad who used to play for Arsenal,” Betty said. “I want to wear a different football kit for everyday I ride, so please can any football league or non-league football clubs donate me a shirt to wear.”

Betty’s dad, Lee Allinson said: “Betty was due to go to Disneyland Paris with my mum and dad and her little cousin. We had to tell her that she couldn’t go because of what is going on at the moment.

“So we thought we would turn a negative into a positive and as my mum works at the hospice, who have lost funding at the moment – we decided to do a mile a day to try and raise some money to help!”

Carla Pilsworth, Director of Income at Garden House Hospice Care, added: “We are so proud of Betty-Leigh and grateful she is dedicating her mile a day to help raise money for our hospice patients and families.

Five-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye AllinsonFive-year-old Betty cycles wearing a different football shirt every day. Picture: Faye Allinson

“She has done an amazing job, having just learnt to ride her bike, she is an inspiration to anyone who might be thinking of ways to fundraise. Keep going Betty and we are looking forward to see how your challenge continues to grow!”

Betty has received hundreds of messages of support on social media, including from Arsenal legends Paul Merson and Ray Parlour.

To donate to Betty’s cause, visit her justgiving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/bettyleighallinsonamileaday

Garden House Hospice Care has recently launched its emergency appeal so it can meet the £1.3 million funding gap it is expected to be facing this year.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit ghhospicecare.org.uk/support-us/coronavirus-appeal


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the The Comet