FRIENDS and family of eight year old Luke Mortimer will be setting out on a 127 mile, under 12 hour fundraising bike ride next weekend along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The event, the first organised by the 'This is Luke' fundraising team since the start of coronavirus lock-downs, will include an open day at Skipton Fire Station when people will be able to drop in and keep track of the cyclists as they ride along the towpath.

Luke was just seven years old in December, 2019, when he was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis. He underwent 23 operations and the amputation of both his legs at the knee and both arms at the elbow.

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, many events took place to help raise much needed funds for Luke and his family, who have had to move from Skipton to a specially adapted bungalow in Embsay.

Other events over the last year were cancelled or postponed, but following the staged relaxation in coronavirus restrictions, fundraising can start again, beginning with the Leeds and Liverpool canal challenge on Saturday, June 12.

Brian Brocksom from the #ThisisLuke fundraising team, said: "As we come out of the pandemic and life for most returns to normal, this isn’t the case for Luke and his family, and with the desire to continue to support the family our fundraising efforts are resuming. "

A team of 12 riders will attempt to tackle the 127 miles between Liverpool and Leeds within 12 hours. The organisers behind the bike ride are Skipton Rugby Club players Harry Maltby, Adam Oldfield and Dave Bellwood, who will be joined by Luke’s father Adam. Also taking par t will be Kirsten Platts, Ian Maltby, Lewis Meredith, Ryan and Owen Doherty, Mark Webster, Connor Whitley and Skipton firefighter, Zobair Hussain.

The riders will leave Stanley Docks, Liverpool at about 6am and will have a support team, bolstered by donations of water from Morrison’s Supermarket, vehicles from Skipton Self Drive Hire, snacks from Clean Eats and bike accessories from Send It Krew. T-shirts are being provided by Prem-biz, Trinity Print has donated advertising while there have also been donations from epic runner Sam Boatwright's Brownbag Protein company.

The team aims to reach the finish line at Granary Wharf, Leeds by 7pm on the Saturday.

Skipton Fire Station will be open throughout the day giving people the opportunity to track the riders efforts and also look around the station and fire engines.

As the riders pass through Skipton they will make a pit stop at the fire station on Broughton Road, where it is hoped Luke will join them on the last 40km leg to Leeds.

Mr Brocksom said: "In the 11 months since Luke left hospital he has amazed the doctors and his family with everything he has achieved from learning to walk, picking up utensils, feeding himself, and returning to school.

"He has received some prosthetic arms from both Koalaa mitt and the charity Remap, and these are slowly helping him to be more involved both at school and at home."

Luke also has a Trekinetic wheelchair - an all-terrain chair that suits his needs, added Mr Brockson.

"The chair has enabled Luke to have more independence, especially at school where he can now play with his friends without the need of an adult standing right behind him cramping his style.

"The family has also moved into a bungalow which with many modifications will be more suitable for Luke’s needs as he grows, develops and learns to live with his disabilities.

" Luke and his family are inspirational and it is clear Luke has a 'can do' attitude."

If you would like to help Luke and his family, go to the justgiving page at: or you can sponsor the individual riders.