Cycling teen named volunteer of the year for raising £30,000

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A teenager from Leamington has been named ‘volunteer of the year’ after pedalling 10,000km for charity.

Will Hsu and his friend Charles Stevens cycled part of the infamous the Silk Road to raise money for A Child Unheard, which works to improve the lives of children in Africa through education, sports and arts.

The duo embarked on the 10,000km journey in May, which took them through the Beijing to Tehran part of the famous route.

The pair experienced temperatures ranging from 45°C to -10°C and climbed from sea level to 4,600 metres during their 114-day ride and their route is considered to be the longest, hardest and both hottest and coldest in the world.

Their two-wheeled adventure came to an end in September, raised more than £30,000 for A Child Unheard Foundation.

Will said: “The Silk Road ride was an incredible experience. There were dangers along the way – including everything from extreme heat to hypothermia and the risk of altitude sickness, not to mention plenty of mongrel dogs with sharp teeth who regarded a cyclist’s ankle as a bone to chase.”

Will and Charles are hoping be to the youngest people to have ever cycled the Silk Road and have submitted a claim to the Guinness World Records.

Last weekend the duo made their way to Manchester for an annual members’ meeting of the national cycling charity, Cycling UK.

At the meeting, Will, his cycling partner Charles, and Greater Manchester’s Tom Hibbs – who has turned his life around through cycling after being homeless 12 months ago, all shared the charity’s ‘volunteer of the year’ award.

As well as winning the Arthur Moss Medallion as Cycling UK’s ‘volunteers of the year’, Will, Charles and Tom Hibbs were also voted the national cycling charity’s ‘young achievers of the year’.

Will said: “It was incredible to hear we had won the top national award from Cycling UK, especially as we didn’t even know we had been nominated.

“It is good to see that, in Cycling UK, there is an organisation encouraging young cyclists and recognising young people. While the award is a wonderful reward for us, it also reflects on all the friends and family who gave so much encouragement and everyone else who supported us so generously.”