Bejing or bust for 'Biddies'

The Westmorland Gazette: Edwina Sorkin and Kate Sleath get ready for their challenge Edwina Sorkin and Kate Sleath get ready for their challenge

IT’S the road trip of a lifetime – but with a charitable twist.

Great grandmother Edwina Sorkin, 68, of Kirkby Stephen, and Kate Sleath, 63, of Wetherby, are driving 8,500 miles from Yorkshire to China.

Calling themselves the ‘Beijing Biddies’, they hope to raise £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK – and show that age is just a number.

Despite the moniker, Edwina is a retired international businesswoman and Kate, a former competitive rally driver.

Edwina’s daughter Deby was diagnosed with breast cancer and mum-of-two Kate has already raised money for Macmillan having had friends and family supported by the charity.

The pair leave on May 1, travelling through Eastern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia en route to China over 30 days, without support and in a Toyota Landcruiser.

Between now and then, they will be holding events and are appealing to local businesses to donate items like fuel, spare parts and GPS equipment.

They are trying to arrange accommodation but sponsors Lyon Equipment are donating a tent just in case.

Kate said: “The opportunity to combine my passion for adventure behind the wheel with the challenge of raising £150,000 for two such amazing charities, and to be able to do this with my close friend Edwina, brings out the grit and determination that comes from being a Yorkshire lass with Scottish roots!”

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Edwina said: “I was touched by this awful disease. Thanks to Cancer Research UK, Deby was able to take part in a clinical trial which was helping to develop better treatments for women like her. I’m so grateful as she remains extremely well and continues to lead a full life with a successful career.”

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