WHILE many people look to take it easy when they reach their 80th birthday, one determined pensioner is keen to take on another fundraising attempt.

Barbara Small has continued to mark momentous birthdays by undertaking charity challenges, including a skydive a few years ago.

Her family have been affected by blood pressure issues and, in October 2016, she suffered a severe stroke.

Having reached the age of 80, Barbara will join hundreds of other cyclists - in spirit and effort - by taking part in the London to Reading bike ride in her own unique way.

The challenge, which aims to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, will see her take on the 40-mile route on a rehabilitation exercise bike in her room at Abbeycrest Care Home.

She said: "All my life, my whole family have been plagued by blood pressure issues. The worst of many was no doubt when my son Philip passed away from a heart attack aged 49.

"I now reside in a care home. During the last couple of years, with the assistance of a great team around me, I've been working hard on my fitness with a pretty gruelling physio routine.

"I decided my issues weren't going to beat me. I have a few ups and downs, but at the end of the day, you've got to meet these things head on and chin up."

Barbara marked her 75th birthday by raising funds for the Multiple System Atrophy Trust, by completing a skydive in memory of her husband Peter.

She intends to do 10 miles every day the week after the event and catch up with those who were able to take part on the day itself.

The stroke she suffered two and a half years ago left her unable to walk, but she retained her desire to be indepedent and managed to learn to walk again.

It is thought more than 1,200 cyclists will be taking on the challenge on March 23, with the charity hoping to beat last year's fundraising total of £105,000.

Visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barbara-small10 to donate to her online fundraising page.