Paul Reddish has set off on his Tour De Thanks to mark Volunteers' Week
A charity chief executive has embarked on a cross-country cycle to pay tribute to volunteers.
Paul Reddish is 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.
Starting on Monday, the chief executive of Volunteering Matters zipped up his Lycra and stocked 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.
He said: “There can be few brighter lights in the last 12 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.”
Confirmed locations on the trip 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 ending at Volunteering Matters’ London office in Hackney. Donations can be made through the Just Giving page.