■        Charity boss to cycle from Edinburgh to London via Wales to say a personal ‘Thank you’ to pandemic volunteers.

■        Will be handing out thousands of ‘People’s Medals’ over a six-day, 1000km ride.

■        Large part of the tour ridden tandem with his dad, ex-Paralympian blind swimmer Tim Reddish CBE DL

The CEO of one of the UK’s largest volunteering charities will be undertaking a gruelling 1000km cycle from Edinburgh to London via Wales to say a heartfelt thanks to the thousands of people across the UK who have made a difference in their communities in the last 12 months or so – and raise money for good causes.

From 2 June 2021, Paul Reddish, CEO of Volunteering Matters will be zipping up his Lycra and stocking up on energy bars to cycle 1000km between the Scottish and English capitals. On his journey, he will be joined by special guests riding alongside him (or behind, depending on how fast he is) including his father, Paralympian swimmer and former Paralympics GB CEO Tim Reddish CBE and his guide dog, Pip. Paul will be stopping all along the way to say thank you to those across the UK who gave up their time to make a difference to so many people’s lives during Covid.

Reddish will be handing out a special edition ‘The People’s Medal’ on his journey to those who have dedicated their time, skills, compassion and support to help others. Whether it is manning vaccination centres or staffing food banks, the impact these unsung heroes have made to people’s lives during the pandemic has been incredible.

‘The People’s Medal’ comes in the shape of a beautifully designed pin badge from #PinYourThanks, a volunteer-run campaign that has been given by tens of thousands of people to thank their own pandemic heroes and since launching last summer.

As well as handing out pin badges and thanks, Paul will be raising money, which will go towards volunteering projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Paul Reddish says, “There can be few brighter lights in the last twelve months or so than the everyday kindness we’ve seen from people. Volunteering is often talked about in terms of organised events or initiatives, but just as important are the small gestures which can make a big difference. I’m hoping to shine a light on all types of volunteering across the UK and raise some money for future volunteering projects.”

Paul will cycle over 1000km starting on 2nd June in Edinburgh going via Wales and ending in London on the evening of 7th June. He will be picking up his dad on route for a tandem ride for the Nottingham to London stretch. Confirmed locations are Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham, Stockton on Tees, Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham, Worcester, Malvern, Gloucester, Newport, Swindon, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and several stops around London, including Kingston upon Thames, ending at Volunteering Matters’ London office in Hackney.

Kingston Carers’ Network will be welcoming Paul in Kingston on Sunday 5th June and joining him in thanking many of the wonderful volunteers who have supported Kingston Carers’ Network in improving the lives of carers in Kingston.

Donations can be made through the Just Giving page justgiving.com/campaigns/tourdethanks

11:51, 04 Jun 2021 by Jo Maye