Eight year old Florrie Legge from Wombourne near Wolverhampton is taking on a 20 mile bike ride to raise money for Children on the Edge on Saturday 12th June. She hopes to raise an incredible £1500.
Florrie has struggled with stomach problems and anxiety since a letter bomb was put through the letterbox of her Mum’s children's’ clothes shop in 2016. This challenge is huge for her and Mum, Emma, is incredibly proud. Emma (pictured with Florrie above) is a Regional Manager for The Body Shop At Home and the family have been supporting Children on the Edge since she joined the business in 2018.
Emma has kindly shared her story with us.:
“My shop was called Five Little Monkeys and was a children's clothes and footwear shop. We also did personalised embroidery. We were the type of shop you could come and have a cuppa in, there were toys for the kiddies and a breast feeding corner. No-one could understand why we would be targeted like we were”.
The shop was destroyed, and the incident happened just three weeks after Florrie had started Primary school. She was already struggling to settle and the fire turned her world upside down as suddenly her Mum wasn’t around. Emma explained:
“Businesses get so little help in these situations compared to domestic properties and we had to clear out, clean, strip the walls of the shop ourselves. I got to the shop at 4:05am and watched the fire being fought, then had to bag everything up and fight for 9 months with the insurance company and landlord.
It was during this time that Florrie's stomach problems worsened and tests began, all this completely exacerbating her anxiety issues. She became scared of any mention of fire, any small changes and even front doors that had letter boxes. We had to have ours blocked up at home as for a whole year they had a concern that our home would be targeted next.
As a family we were pretty lost and broken. Then The Body Shop At Home (TBSAH) came into our lives by chance in mid January 2018 when I was looking for an anti dandruff shampoo! I joined as a consultant and within weeks I'd become a top seller in our region. I had a huge network on Facebook with three children in three different schools, being a part time church youth worker and through people I knew through the shop! By mid February 2018 we announced that we were closing the shop. Florrie was having the worst time at school and we were beginning to explore homeschooling as an option for her. TBSAH gave us that choice and opportunity.
After going full time TBSAH in March 2018, I was able to chase hospital appointments, take Florrie to school, chat to teachers and sort out so many of Florrie's issues which meant she was able to remain in the school. I could just be a Mum again, and in time, both Florrie and myself started to heal.
Florrie knew about Children on the Edge thanks to my role in TBSAH as a Regional Manager. In the last year, I've shared more and more about it with my children, and this increased when Florrie's sister, my eldest, Sophie, 18, joined the business and was promoted to Area Manager, Sophie became passionate about the work Children on the Edge does and this really rubbed off on Florrie who helps Sophie and myself with our customer group. I asked her why she had chosen to do something so huge for Children on the Edge and her reply was: "I love that they educate children and I want all children to be able to be educated and grow up to do whatever they want just like I'm able to! All children deserve this and to be kept safe and healthy. I've been poorly with my tummy but doctors and medicine have made me better, children in other countries just have to suffer instead and that's not fair.
I'm so proud of Florrie for doing this. Just 2 years ago, she would never do anything that she didn't know the outcome of, she would question everything even if we were at the theatre or cinema. She’d ask things like "what if there's a fire, how do I get out?" or "what if I lose you if it goes dark?".
She wouldn't go on family bike rides with us because she was scared she couldn't keep up and would lose us. She would think of all the bad things that could happen like punctures or falling off. For this 20 mile cycle ride, she honestly hasn't mentioned any big fears at all; she's excited about the big day and is counting down the sleeps!
Florrie’s bike ride is scheduled for Saturday 12th June. If the weather is bad, they’ll do it the following day or soon after. The route will take in lovely canal paths, an old railway track and the National Cycle Route 81 and will be away from busy main roads. The route is actually 26 miles and Emma is hoping Florrie will be able to complete it all, but if not, she’ll get collected after mile 20!
Florrie will be cycling with her Mum and Dad and they’re planning a pub lunch stop to refuel and will put plenty of sweeties and chocolate in their bike baskets!
Florrie has been training by cycling to school and back every day which is 2 miles. Then at weekends she has been cycling to her Nannie's house and back which is 5.5 miles along part of the route they’ll be cycling on the day of the challenge. Florrie has also increased her dancing to twice a week and at the youth club in Wolverhampton that she attends, she has started using the climbing wall. She says she's feeling super fit! Sponsor Florrie and help her reach her target here >>
Florrie can’t wait to take on her challenge and says: "I'm really excited about the bike ride and to raise as much money as I can and I'm doing that by doing something I love - bike riding! I got a new bike at Christmas which is 'sooooooo' good (Florrie insisted that many O’s were included!) and I can't wait to ride it a really long way! I'm a bit scared about getting tired and not being able to do it but Mummy and Daddy have planned breaks and a big lunch and Mummy's putting sweeties and snacks in the basket of her bike! Yum!"
Florrie will be cycling 20 miles around Wolverhampton on Saturday 12th June, supported by her Mum and Dad. She hopes to raise £1500 for Children on the Edge. You can sponsor Florrie and help her reach her target here >>