AS THOUSANDS of college students dump their books and head off for a sun-filled holiday, one teenager has chosen to tackle a monster charity challenge.
Robert Jones, 17, of Hammersmith, has been plotting a fundraising mission for months and finally set his sights on tackling the heights of Ben Nevis before cycling and kayaking back to London.
The intrepid youngster and friend Sam Sharpe, also 17, travelled to the Grampian Mountain – the largest in the British Isles – on July 6.
After climbing to the 1,344m summit the pair are cycling the 500 miles to Cricklade, in Wiltshire, close to the source of the Thames.
There they will swap their bicycles for the kayak for the final leg of the journey before reaching Big Ben on Tuesday (20/7).
Robert is raising money for The Children's Trust while Sam took on the challenge for Sebastian's Action Trust.
Robert said: "We were on the go every single day and, to be honest, I don't think I trained half as much as I should have done.
"We invented this challenge all on our own in January so we had a few months to prepare. But when you are cycling for 65 miles one day and then waking up and doing 70 miles the next it is hard to really prepare for.
"But there is a certain buzz you get from pushing yourself to the limit and some of the countryside we have seen is amazing."
The teen is hoping to raise up to £3,000 for his chosen charity, which provides care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities and rehabilitation services to children with brain injuries.
He said: "This will be a real challenge for both of us but we know that children with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses face their own daily challenges, so we are determined to raise as much money as possible for two very worthy causes."
Speaking to the Chronicle from a stop-off in Telford, Robert, when asked whether he will ever take to the fundraising trail again he said: "Maybe but at the moment I am not sure. I probably will but all I want to do now is sleep."
Julia Hart, community fundraising manager at The Children’s Trust, said: “The boys have taken on the challenge of a lifetime and it is fantastic to witness their enthusiasm first-hand.
"Their support will make a real difference in helping The Children’s Trust continue its work in transforming children’s lives.”