Schoolgirl’s pyjama pedal power at Hainault centre raises cash for those in need

An 11-year-old cycling fan who convinced her friends to get on their bikes while wearing their pyjamas in the rain is our latest Young Citizen nominee.

Jessica Elliot, who rides her bike at Redbridge Cycling Centre, Forest Road, Hainault, every week, stumbled upon a fun fundraising idea while going on the website of BBC’s Blue Peter.

She saw their Go Pyjama appeal for Children in Need and convinced her friends to join in a sponsored bike ride at the centre earlier this month.

She said: “They said to do something normal but in pyjamas and I thought cycling would be a good idea. There were lots of people in their pyjamas. Everyone was doing it and they all said it was fun.”

She was joined by around 15 riders, including her dad, to raise �61 for the charity and is now in the running for the monthly Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club award, which is sponsored by Exchange Ilford.

The member of the Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club previously demonstrated her social awareness by writing to Blue Peter about her concerns over people using the so-called “Boris bikes” without wearing helmets.

She earned a Blue Peter badge for her article, which the programme makers thought was “fantastic”, according to her mum Carol.

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Jessica, who lives in Chingford, said she would love to do more fundraising for Children in Need next year and watched Friday’s television broadcast of the appeal with her family. She said: “The money goes to people less fortunate than us.”

Her mum added: “You see all these children and they’ve got absolutely nothing, that’s what inspired her at the end of the day.”

“We live a quite comfortable life.

“She said ‘mum, I raised money for that’”.

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