A great grandmother is pedalling her best foot forward to help feed some of the world’s poorest children with charity Mary’s Meals.
Ellison Hudson from Bridge of Allan is celebrating her 84th birthday by cycling 84 miles around the University of Stirling’s racetrack.
She will complete the challenge on a tricycle, after suffering a stroke two years ago.
“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. 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.”
Mary’s Meals serves nutritious school meals to children living in some of the world’s poorest countries. The promise of a good meal attracts these hungry children into the classroom, giving them the energy to learn and hope for a better future.
The charity reaches over two million children every school day in 20 countries, including Ethiopia, Yemen and Madagascar.
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.
“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, and a very happy 84th birthday!”
In 2018, retired health and social worker Ellison set herself the challenge of cycling from Helensburgh to Dunbar over six days – raising £1,353 for Mary’s Meals. 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.
Lauri, 12, from Madagascar, eats Mary’s Meals at school every day. When he isn’t at school, he helps his mother cook and look after his younger siblings. His dream for the future is to be a teacher and he knows that attending school will help him to achieve this.
Lauri says: “School is good because we learn new things every day. I would miss learning new lessons if I was not at school. At home I always eat cassava but the food from Mary’s Meals is rice. It helps me because I am very full when I eat rice. It makes me want to go to school because I always eat delicious food when I am there.”
For more information about Mary’s Meals, visit marysmeals.org.uk.