BY JAMES TWOMEY
Prisoners and staff at a prison have raised nearly £1,400 for children with cancer after cycling 100 miles to raise money – without even leaving the jail.
The prisoners of HMP Brixton cycled on static exercise bikes with staff members in support of their deputy governor who took part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 annual cycling event.
Louise Ysart, deputy governor of HMP Brixton decided to raise money for CLIC Sargent, a charity who support families of young people with cancer, and signed up to the bike ride.
She was overwhelmed by the response of fellow staff and prisoners who suggested that they also take part and support her by cycling the 100 miles on the static exercise bikes in the prison.
As a gesture of support for her fundraising efforts a total of five staff and 12 prisoners cycled on the exercise bikes at the same time that Louise started riding from the Prudential Ride 100 official start line at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.
One prisoner who cannot be named said: “On Sunday, we were on B wing exercise yard and took turns on the spin bikes for the Ride
“We were doing sprints on and off for half an hour each. When we weren’t on the bikes we had to do push ups and burpees.
“The thought that this was for a good cause was what kept us going when it started to hurt.
“I think people outside don’t really know what happens in prison – there is no way for them to find out.
“The papers only write about drugs in prison. They should let people know about the good things prisoners do inside.
“They seem to think all prisoners are bad. I would say that some are, but others are good people who can make a change.”
Louise said: “CLIC Sargent means a great deal to me personally because I lost a family member to cancer, so when the staff and prisoners approached me with their suggestion about supporting me I was really touched.
“Obviously, the prisoners aren’t able to leave the prison but knowing I had 17 fellow riders with me in spirit wasa huge motivation to get me round.”
Louise is still raising money through www.justgiving.com/LouiseYsart.