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A LIFELONG NSPCC supporter from Hagley is gearing up for a gruelling 100-mile cycling ride to help raise vital funds for the children’s charity.

Insurance broker Helen Dunlop, aged 49, is one of thousands of cyclists getting set to take part in the first-ever Vélo Birmingham bike ride on Sunday September 24 which will take riders on a picturesque tour of Birmingham, the Black Country, South Staffordshire and north Worcestershire before returning to the city for the finish line.

To find out more about the race click here.

Helen, a keen 'social' cyclist, said the event will be a "great opportunity to cycle on closed roads" and she added: “I love my bike and it’s good to have an event to aim for, and of course it's been a joy to tackle some of the local hills in preparation.

“Nerves aside I'm very much looking forward to the ride."

She continued: "It’s a huge event and bigger in terms of participant numbers than anything I have entered before.

"Most importantly it’s a perfect opportunity to raise money for the NSPCC who I’ve supported for much of my adult life.

“Many of us have children or know someone who has. Children are a blessing and so we should do all we can to look after them.

“The work the NSPCC does is close to my heart."

Helen has already topped her £1,000 fundraising target for the charity, which works to end child abuse.

But anyone still wishing to sponsor her to boost her total can do so online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helendunlop.

To find out more about riding for the NSPCC go to www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/events/velo-birmingham/ - charity places on the organisation's Vélo Birmingham team are still available for a registration fee of £40.