19-year-old raises £37,000 by cycling across England in memory of late parents

  • Watch the full report by ITV Meridian's Tony Green

Three months ago, we began our search for the ITV Meridian Fundraiser of the Year, as part of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards.

Hundreds of you nominated wonderful fundraisers from your communities. All this week, we will tell you about our region's finalists and on Friday (October 1), we'll be crowning one of them as the Meridian winner.

A man from Tunbridge Wells has cycled across the country in search of the best English breakfast.

Jeremy Daubeny wanted to raise money for the two charities that helped him, when he lost his parents within seven months of one another.

Typical life for the 19-year-old ended when his mother first became ill with motor neurone disease (MND) when he was just 15.

Jeremy said: "MND is such this horrific condition where the muscles in your body slowly shutdown. It started off where her fingers stopped moving and she was unable to have any control over them. Then soon that spread to the rest of her body. Just watching someone you love so much suffer like that was horrific."

Seven months later, his father Giles was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was given a year to live. 

Jeremy said: "It was horrible, it was like watching my parents suffer so so much and them do it almost separately and wanting to be the strong parent for us but not being able to do that.

"Because the conditions were degenerative, you could kind of prepare yourself for the end and for the grief in itself. You grieve them while they are alive."

Jeremy Daubeny and his family

Jeremy started rising during lockdown in 2020 and got the idea for a charity ride to help families like his own and to help find a cure.

He said: "I wanted to use my circumstances for something good. Cycling really helped me during lockdown and breakfasts have always been a passion of mine. Slowly but surely the Tour de Full English came about!"

Jeremy's initial target was £2,500 for a total of 2,500 miles. However, by the end he raised £37,500, which was 15 times his initial target.

His sister, Jessica Daubeny is very proud of all he has achieved.

She said: "We haven't got any family in the country, so it's kind of brought everyone from around the world together, just rallying around Jeremy."

"It's inspired me to share my story and really support these charities who supported us."

Jeremy said the character of his parents has helped and motivated him. The 19-year-old said if they had been in his situation, they wouldn't have wallowed in their sorrows.