Bolton actress Natalie Amber led a team of intrepid charity riders through bad weather conditions on a 50-mile route to Blackpool to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease charities.

Natalie - who played an MND sufferer in Coronation Street last year - uses a wheelchair after a series of falls left her with severe chronic pain, spinal and neurological problems.

But, undeterred, the brave actress, who plays Shelley, rode the route on a hand cycle, nearly coming a cropper at one point when she fell out of it by a canal path.

The group set off from Bolton Arena after support from volunteers from the Motor Neurone Disease Association Manchester and district.

The riders were also cheered on by friends and parents from Meadow Hill Nursery in Bolton, owned by Natalie’s mother Sonia Biggs. Youngsters from Hot Wheels also did a couple of laps with the group before setting off.

As well as Natalie’s near-mishap on the canal path, Jake Healey fell half-way down a ravine after his bike lost control on mud but recovered to continue the whole journey.

And Ian Davis-Lucock, who gave up his time to train Natalie, saved the day when the canal path route ran out in Chorley.

When the drenched and bruised riders finally got to Blackpool, they were met by youngsters from Meadow Hill who had been collecting along the 2.5 miles of the promenade.

Now, Natalie is pushing to make a final donation of £5,000 to the MNDA, the Rob Burrows Foundation and to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

“I’m determined to reach that goal,” stated Natalie. “Huge thanks to everyone involved, especially to Ian and all the nursery children and parents. They were all amazing!”

Natalie learnt more about the devastation the disease causes through her character's storyline, in which she became friends with Paul Foreman, played by Peter Ash, who was recently diagnosed with MND in the soap.

She also sent her thanks to the Bolton Arena to Lisa Baker and family for donating the hand cycle and to The Print Room for donating all the posters and flyers.

•To donate to the Roll and Raise Charity ride go to