Hello, my name’s Ellie and I am 18 years old and live in sunny Suffolk. In April (fingers crossed!), myself and my friend Anna will be cycling 150km to Amsterdam raising money for the Oral Health Foundation and also St Elizabeth’s Hospice in Ipswich.

Currently, I am student studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths A-levels and one day I hope to become a dentist. I would love to combine dentistry with being in the army - that is my dream.

I was inspired to raise funds for the Oral Health Foundation after completing work experience at my local dentist surgery. I was shocked at the number of patients who hadn’t received adequate education on oral health care and as a result needed to have teeth removed or filled. I remember feeling especially shocked when I saw young children coming in to have  teeth extracted. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to do something to help. I could see how it affected the patients both mentally and physically and so I decided to do some research on the subject and that is when I came across this charity. I strongly believe that their work is having a hugely positive impact on many communities and I feel honoured to be able to contribute towards this worthy cause.

My own dental journey hasn’t been an easy one. I had braces on for 5 years during high school only to have them removed and my teeth were allowed to go back to their original position - so all of that for nothing! It was only until much later that it became clear I would need to have jaw surgery to correct my teeth. I understand the mental and physical challenges that oral problems can bring and I want to help as many people as I can with feeling confident in their smile and maintaining a happy and healthy mouth. This is why I want to go into dentistry.

In an effort to raise money, I have organised a cycle ride to Amsterdam with my friend Anna. I chose to organise it myself rather than partake in an organised event because I wanted all of the money raised to go straight to charity.  Anna and I will be covering our own costs. I’ve even decided to take on the challenge riding my mum’s 20 year old bike!

Ellie and Annas posing with their bikes Ellie (left) and Annas (right) with their bikes

We are cycling 150 km and travelling a total distance of 353 km by taking the ferry overnight from Harwich. We aren’t cyclists and need to do the challenge quickly so that we can get back to studying for our A Levels! This is going to be a HUGE challenge for us and we would really appreciate any support you can give, either through cheering us on via social media or by donating to our JustGiving page!

*Note: this event is due to take place in April however due to the Coronavirus it will likely have to be rescheduled. We will update this blog accordingly as and when details are confirmed.