A semi-retired doctor from the Borders is about to embark on an 865-mile fundraising cycle around Britain.

Shelagh King from Newstead is hoping to raise funds for, and awareness of, the charity Freedom from Torture

The 64-year-old has teamed up with fellow supporter from Edinburgh, Moira Dunworth, who is 65, to cycle around all of the charity's UK centres

One of the first patients to receive help from Freedom from Torture was Eric Lomax from Berwick Upon Tweed, whose story was told in the film The Railwayman.

Eric was tortured as a prisoner of war in Burma.

Nowadays people from all over the world who have suffered torture benefit from the charity.

Shelagh will begin her marathon pedal from Hastings on July 1.

And she is due across the finishing line in Edinburgh some 28 days later.

Shelagh told us: "We hope to raise awareness about the Freedom from Torture and the people it supports, meet many other supporters, and raise money for the important work.

"Freedom from Torture provides counselling, medical evidence of torture for legal cases, and general support for people who have suffered torture."

Ahead of starting the ride Shelagh and Moira will visit the Scottish Parliament for a send-off with several MSPs next week.

Alison Johnstone, MSP, co-leader of the Scottish Greens said: "Well done to Moira and Shelagh for tackling such a long ride and for such an important cause.

"Freedom from Torture’s services are vital to so many torture survivors and I am delighted to support this project."

Joining the two cyclists for part of the ride will be Violet Hejazi, a young Syrian refugee, who learnt to ride a bike specifically to take part.

Many other supporters have also signed up to take part in various stages.

Mark Beaumont, round the world record cyclist, broadcaster and Freedom from Torture ambassador, is among the many who are wishing them well on the road.

He said: "I am inspired by the efforts of Moira and Shelagh, both retired and taking on an epic cycle ride from Hastings to Edinburgh alongside Violet, a young Syrian refugee, and everyone else who is joining them along the way.

“Freedom from Torture is a brilliant charity providing medical and psychological care for survivors of torture here in the UK, and I am sure that this Cycle against Torture will do brilliantly at raising awareness and funds.

"Chapeau ladies for this adventure of a lifetime!”

The funds raised from the cycle will provide a vital lifeline for survivors of torture.

Freedom from Torture already provides expert care and support to the hundreds of men, women and children who arrive at centres, including Glasgow, desperate to rebuild their lives in the safety of the UK.

Freedom from Torture chief executive Sonya Sceats said: "Cycle against Torture is a particularly exciting event for us because it brings together survivors of torture and our supporters and staff from across the country to raise awareness and funding for our vital work to help survivors rebuild their lives.

"In these troubling times when values of compassion and fairness are under threat and extremist views are becoming normalised in our society, it is more important than ever that we find these active ways to show our solidarity with people who have survived the worst human cruelty and are seeking safety in Britain.”

To support Shelagh and Moira's cycle challenge go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/CAT2019