‘Paw’ de France for rescue Labradors

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Mansfield dog-lover Wendy Hopewell enjoyed a waggy welcome when she returned from an epic 400-mile bike ride from Paris to Nottingham in aid of East Midlands Rescue Labradors.

The kind-hearted fundraiser hopes to raise £10,000 in sponsorship by completing the journey from the Eiffel Tower in four-and-a-half days.

And dogs Wendy (45) has personally rehomed were waiting when she and Team Edward, named after her own rescue dog, rolled into the Old Market Square on Easter Monday at 12.30pm.

Afterwards they will celebrate with a party at Mansfield’s Il Rosso.

Said Wendy: “It is so satisfying seeing dogs in their forever homes.

“When you see first-hand where all the money is spent - on vets bills, kennel and rehoming costs medication and food for example - you realise how it all mounts up terribly.

“It is a struggle for them sometimes - dogs often end up in rescue when families split up or when the elderly go into residential care.”

Team Edward, made up of Wendy and her partner in a minibus with two labs for company, cycled from the French capital to Calais.

Wendy and the team then completed a whopping 208 miles from Dover to Nottingham.

Said Wendy: “We have been training all winter - we decided to do it about eight months ago.

“It has meant training two-three times a week in all weathers and planning the route extremely well.

“You have to make sure you avoid main roads but you do get to see some really nice French countryside.”

East Midlands Labrador Rescue, founded in 1981, is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to rehoming Labrador in central England.

If you would like to help Wendy and Team Edward reach their target of £10,000 please visit www.team-edward.co.uk and click on the donate button.