A DAD is cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in memory of his stillborn daughter.

Brian English, 58, from South Woodham Ferrers, is set to take on the 980-mile challenge, to raise cash for Sands – the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society.

The organisation works to support families affected by the death of a baby.

Mr English himself experienced the loss of a baby 30 years ago, when daughter Siobhan was sadly stillborn.

He said: “On January 9, 1989, our daughter Siobhan Elizabeth, was stillborn.

“My wife, Jo, was 42 weeks pregnant and the night before Jo was to be induced, Siobhan’s little heart stopped beating.

“There was no explanation, no apparent cause, and nothing that could be done.

“Siobhan remains forever a part of our family and our lives, and even now 30 years later, memories and grief remain.

“As parents we never ever forget though we adapt our lives to live with our reality and to celebrate all our children.”

For many years now, Mr English has been a supporter of the charity, using his experience to support others going through a similar experience.

He is chairman of the Essex Sands support group.

He will be taking on the gruelling bike ride alongside pals Kenn Ryan and Stuart Berry.

Over the course of nine days from September 7 to 15, the group will cover more than 100 miles a day.

Mr English believes the challenge will be an opportunity for him to bring himself even closer to his daughter.

He said: “This is a hugely daunting challenge to say the least, even slightly mad, however the training has gone pretty well through the summer and the long winter months.

“I’m looking forward to it as when I ride in Siobhan’s memory it is one way I can feel closer to her.”

The cycling trio will be sleeping in tents each night of the challenge, which they have so far funded themselves.

To boost fundraising, Mr English has also organised a charity golf day, as well as collecting donations from shoppers in South Woodham Ferrers.

Sands chief exec Clea Harmer, chief executive at Sands, said: “We’d like to wish Brian and his friends the very best of luck as they prepare to take on their challenging bike ride in memory of baby Siobhan.

“The vital funds Brian is raising will allow us to continue our work towards our mission to reduce the number of babies dying and to ensure all those affected receive the support and care that they need.

“The death of a baby is not as uncommon as people think, as every day 15 babies die before, during and shortly after birth in the UK.”

To donate to Mr English’s cause, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/brian-english2.