Parents inspire Tom's charity bike trek from Ripley to Edinburgh
A TEENAGER is getting in the saddle for charity after being inspired by his parents' dedication to helping others.
Acting student Tom Melody, 18, of Mill Road, Cleethorpes, will complete a 220-mile bike ride from Ripley, in North Yorkshire, to Edinburgh, to raise £1,100 for children's charity Barnado's.
Tom was brought up in a supported housing scheme for people with disabilities.
"My parents have been looking after people since they were 21 years old and it has really inspired me to do whatever I can to help others," he said.
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He will ride the distance in four days, setting off from Ripley on Thursday, July 5 and arriving in Edinburgh on Sunday, July 8.
Last year, the event raised more than £30,000 for the charity, which provides help and support for vulnerable children and young carers.
Tom is an acting student at London's Italia Conti but is currently at home for the summer and is taking advantage of being able to train over the Lincolnshire Wolds.
"I barely did any training for my last ride as it was all very last-minute and I was in a lot of pain when I finished," he said.
"At the end, I told myself 'never again' yet I found myself on the internet the next day looking at other charity bike rides and signed up for this one.
"This time I am going to make sure I train properly and I plan to do some serious cycling over all the hills towards Caistor."
The acting student, who dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, has already begun raising funds.
He has been asking for sponsorship and has a fundraising event planned on Thursday, June 14, at Corpus Christi Church, in Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes.
He is holding a quiz and pizza night from 7pm to 9.30pm. Admission costs £5.
"It will be a lot of fun and hopefully will help me get towards my fundraising target, which won't be easy," he said.
"I love doing things for charity but you can't constantly ask people you know for sponsorship money – you have to do something else, too."
The ride will be Tom's second. He cycled 100 miles over the Kent North Downs for Action Medical Research in May, and he was once sponsored by Gordon Brown when he did a fun run for Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) at the age of 11, as reported.
If you would like to go to Tom's event or sponsor him, call 07884 184897 or visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/tommelody