A Whitchurch businesswoman has cycled 300 miles to raise money for the charity which saved her brother in law’s life.

Virginia Phillips rode 100 miles a day for three days to raise funds for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) after her brother-in-law was knocked off his bike.

“This summer my brother-in-law, Jim, was cycling up a hill in the Peak District when he was involved in a collision with an oncoming motorcyclist who was overtaking a car,” she said.

Jim was taken by the air ambulance to hospital, having sustained a fractured pelvis and a broken shoulder, while his right leg was severed below the knee.

Despite the serious injuries, he was able to recover, and so Virginia set herself the challenge of raising money in recognition of the air ambulance’s work, as well as for two other charities – Make a Wish and Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Her first day saw her head to the coast and back, followed up by battling the heat on one of the hottest days on record in the UK to clock up more miles on the second. Finally, she completed the 300-miles on the third day with a route around Basingstoke.

“The final stretch was most certainly the hardest,” Virginia said. “I was so tired, and my body was aching. Also having the heat to contend with was incredibly difficult, but in the back of my mind I knew I was raising funds for worthy causes, and the generous donations kept me pushing those pedals.”

After completing the challenge, Virginia had raised £3,300 after match funding from her company Red Oyster. This was then boosted to £3,400 by Jim and his wife after they learnt that it costs £1,700 per air ambulance mission, so the money would pay for two.

Kerry Wilson, from DLRAA, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Virginia for her fantastic fundraising efforts – it’s an amazing distance to cycle and a great amount raised for our vital charity.

“The money raised will help our service to continue saving lives like Jim’s in the local community and further afield, and we can’t thank her enough.”

To learn more, you can visit: www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk.