MOTORCYCLISTS embarked on a sponsored ride in support of a children’s hospice in Radcliffe.

30 bikers from riding clubs across Bury and the surrounding areas roared off together from Milnrow in Rochdale to Grace’s Place in Dumers Lane.

The event was the first major fundraising drive for the hospice since another charity, Forget Me Not, took it on in June after it suffered financial struggles.

The charity’s first fundraising milestone is to raise £60,000 to pay for the recruitment of four nurses for an initial six month period.

The riders and their passengers – aged from 13 to 66 – left Milnrow at 11am on Sunday and travelled through Rochdale, Hebden Bridge and Rossendale before arriving at Grace’s Place at 1pm.

Local biker Kevin Brown, who helped to organise the sponsored ride with Ernie Moore, says his personal experiences motivated him to raise money for the hospice.

He said: “I have fibrosis and having been in and out of hospital over the last four years, I know how beneficial it is for people with illnesses to have access to quality services.

“For children and young people it’s even more important for them to have access to the best care and support available.

“There isn’t anything available for children with life-limiting conditions in North Manchester, which is why we’ve come together to raise money for Forget Me Not so they can open Grace’s Place and start caring for hundreds of young people and their families as soon as possible.”

Kirsty Franks, communications director at Forget Me Not and interim general manager of Grace’s Place, said: “We’d like to thank Kevin and the other bikers for taking part in this first fundraising drive for Grace’s Place.

"The support and feedback we’ve received from people in the local community since it was announced Forget Me Not has taken over Grace’s Place has been extremely positive.

"We want to be able to start supporting children and families in North Manchester as soon as possible and with the help of local supporters like Kevin and his team of motorbike riders we’re confident we’ll be able to raise the money needed to start caring for local children and families before Christmas.”

The bikers will be collecting money for their sponsored ride throughout the week and people can donate via Forget Me Not’s Kickstart page