ACORNS Children’s Hospice is encouraging families to join together and raise money while getting fit by signing up for its annual Severn Valley Cycle Challenge.

The challenge consists of three courses, a 40-mile rocket course, a 20-mile tornado course and a 10-mile express course, giving families of all cycling abilities the chance to take part.

All three courses end in Bewdley, followed by a scenic trip back to each of the three starting points by steam locomotive.

Ian Carr, one of the organisers of the event, said the choice of course made it attractive to parents and children who wanted to exercise as a family.

“Cycling is brilliant for your kids - it helps them get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, which one third of children don’t currently achieve,” he said.

“There are health benefits for adults too. Cycling raises your metabolic rate and helps you to keep weight off.

“As well as taking in beautiful scenery, the Severn Valley cycle is an opportunity to burn off some calories and tone muscles.

“You don’t have to stop at your immediate family. We’d like to see grandparents sign up for the event too.”

The hospice, which offers a network of care for life-threatened children and young people and their families, hopes the event, which takes place on Sunday, August 17, will help fund its operations.

Mr Carr, Acorn’s events manager, said: “Acorns Children’s Hospice doesn’t charge families for making use of its services, regardless of the ever-increasing costs involved.

“We rely heavily on public fundraising and voluntary donations and hope to sign up 200 cyclists to help us raise the money we need to operate.”

Entry fees vary depending on the length of race. The 10-mile course costs £15 for adults and £10 for children, the 20-mile course costs £20 for adults and £15 for children and the 40-mile course costs £25.

For more information or to register visit, call 0844 984 0405, or email