Cycling 98-year-old takes on charity challenge for West London Mission

A 98-year-old woman is doing a charity cycle to raise money for a west London charity that was set up by her grandmother.

Devon-based Diana O’Flynn, who previously worked as a teacher in prisons, is raising money for West London Mission (WLM), a charity that helps people affected by homeless, poverty, and trauma.

Over 100 years ago, Diana’s grandmother Katherine Price Hughes founded the charity’s Katherine Price Hughes (KPH) service, which specialises in helping jail leavers transition back into the community.

Since the fundraiser kicked off in April, Diana has already covered 250 miles and raised over £3,500 for the charity.

Diana said: “People are being so generous, so many people that I’ve never heard of and who have never heard of me are contributing. 

“West London Mission keep sending messages to my manager – who is my granddaughter – to say how pleased they are.”

The charity cycle will see 98-year-old Diana cycle on the spot in her sitting room for at least half an hour a day for 80 days, finishing on 30 June, by which she hopes to have raised £5000.

Established in 1917, the WLM Katherine Prince Hughes House was first set up to help young women and sex workers.

When more state help became available for sex workers, the service instead switched its focus to helping ex-prisoners.

One of the residents told Diana that WLM changed his life by helping him secure accommodation, showed him how to apply for jobs, and also taught him other necessities such as how to cook balanced meals. 

Diana has always gone the extra mile to help others, and previously set up a children’s home near Lake Windermere with her husband.

To donate to Diana’s fundraiser, visit her GoFundMe page and follow her progress on Instagram, @aroundthesittingroomin80days. 

Featured image credit: Diana O’Flynn

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