Former Clarendon Academy pupil Lorna Blakeley is preparing for a coast to coast cycling challenge across the Pyrenees mountain range in France later this month in memory of her brother.

Mrs Blakeley organised the challenge as a tribute to Ben Wickham, who died last year of pneumonia just two days after his 37th birthday, leaving his wife Emma and sons Jacob, eight, and Sam, five.

Fifteen of Ben’s friends and family will cross from the west coast of Southern France to the east coast over six days from June 22-27. The ride, which will cover 650km, is in aid of Cheltenham-based charity Winston’s Wish, which offers support and guidance to bereaved children and families.

Mrs Blakeley, who will be joined by her husband Lawrence on the cycle, moved to France in 2012 for her husband’s work, but recently started working week days in Bristol.

She said: “Our initial target was £10,000, but we have already surpassed that with £13,337 and now we’d like to get to £15,000.

“I went to Clarendon School with my brother, so we have two friends from the school doing it as well as other people who knew Ben.”

Mrs Blakeley, whose parents Chris and Doreen Wickham still live in Trowbridge, said: “We have all been training, but none of us were massive cyclists beforehand so it is going to be difficult.”