Rosie’s journey: The facts

A Belper grandmother was “overwhelmed” with emotion after completing a London to Paris cycle to raise funds for a premature babies charity.

Rosie Spears, a teaching assistant at Belper School, use her pedal power to raise money for Bliss which supports babies “born too soon, too small, too sick.”

Tragically Rosie’s grandson Harry died four years ago when he was born 13 weeks too early. Since then her daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Paul have raised more than£30,000 for the charity and the neo-natal unit at Derby.

And after a 300–mile journey, Rosie added to the tally, arriving at the Eiffel Tower with the total fundraising for the ride currently standing at £1,300.

Rosie said: “There was a great sense of achievement as I went over the finish line and I remembered why I had done it in the first place.

“It was the end of a lot of hard work and there were lots of tears. The final total isn’t in yet though and I would like to make it up to £1,500. Losing Harry is something you never really get over, but at least this will be putting something back to the people who helped him.”

An endurance runner until suffering a knee injury, Rosie, 58, was pedalling 80 miles a day for three days, before a 60 mile dash to the finish line on the final day.

She continued: “I am quite active, but I put a lot more effort into this than I thought I would.

“There were 42 of us in all cycling on the challenge though, so there was plenty of support.

“As we went through Compiegne though there was also some horrendous wind which knocked a few people off their bikes.

“But overall people were so helpful and we all pushed each other on to get to the end.”

Rosie now plans to take on a coast-to-coast walk to raise more money for the charity and also plans to give some of the cash to Alzheimer’s charities.

She also previously organise a concert at Belper School which raised £278 for Bliss with a showcase of musical talent.

She added: “I would like to thank everyone who has donated so far. People have been so generous and without them this wouldn’t be possible.”

Rosie has worked as a teaching assistant in the alternative curriculm centre at Belper School for 22 years and has lived in Belper since 1978.

If you would like to donate to Rosie’s cause go to