Ellison Hudson is carrying out the challenge at the University of Stirling race track (Martin Shields/Mary’s Meals/PA)
A great-grandmother is marking her recent 84th birthday by cycling 84 miles in a charity challenge to help feed some of the world’s poorest children.
Ellison Hudson, from Bridge of Allan, will ride around the University of Stirling’s race track over the next week, using a tricycle after a stroke two years ago affected her balance.
Mary’s Meals serves nutritious school meals to children in some of the poorest countries in the world, and reaches 2,279,941 children every school day.
Mrs Hudson, who turned 84 in April, was inspired to help the charity after seeing its work in action in Africa in 2014.
Ellison Hudson will cycle up to 20 miles a day (Martin Shields/Mary’s Meals/PA)
She said: “I was once visiting my daughter in Malawi and happened to come across Mary’s Meals feeding children at school.
“The children were running about with their mugs full whilst the ladies were stirring big pots of porridge. It was a lovely experience and at that point I knew I wanted to do something to help its work.
“Because my balance isn’t as good as it was, I bought myself a tricycle. It wasn’t as easy as you would think. I had to work at feeling confident on it.
Every single thing that people do for our mission makes an enormous difference to the children who eat Mary’s Meals
Emma Hutton, Mary's Meals
“But I’m determined to do my best for such a good cause as Mary’s Meals and hope to play a part in helping them reach more hungry children.”
The retired health and social worker raised £1,353 for the charity in 2018 by cycling from Helensburgh to Dunbar over six days.
She hopes to beat that total over the next week by cycling up to 20 miles per day to reach 84 miles within a week, and began the challenge on Thursday.
Emma Hutton, head of grassroots engagement at Mary’s Meals, said: “We serve Mary’s Meals in the world’s poorest, and often most difficult, locations because we know that’s where children need us the most.
Ellison Hudson is cycling 84 miles to mark her 84th birthday (Martin Shields/Mary’s Meals/PA)PA Media - Martin Shields/Mary’s Meals
“Today we face some of our greatest challenges yet in a world devastated by conflict, food insecurity and the cost-of-living crisis.
“It is easy to feel hopeless when faced with so much suffering. But every single thing that people do for our mission makes an enormous difference to the children who eat Mary’s Meals.
“We wish Ellison the best of luck with her tricycling challenge.”
It costs £15.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a full school year.