AN INSPIRATIONAL young man has completed a life-changing journey by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Chris Davis (24), from Ballingry, completely turned his life around with the support of Kirkcaldy-based Clued Up - a voluntary organisation helping young people affected by substance misuse.
And to prove it, he joined the Clued Up team for its 10-day, 875-mile ‘Long Way Up’ cycle challenge.
It was a gruelling experience for Chris – punctures, a hamstring injury, close shaves with traffic and stormy weather all added to the adventure – but he was more than up to it, and says it has given him the confidence to tackle other challenges life might throw at him.
Chris said: “Being involved in something positive and being part of a team was a big thing for me. Crossing the finishing line in John O’Groats was a special feeling, a mix of relief that we had done it and a sense of achievement.
“It was also a chance for me to give something back to Clued Up.”
Chris first contacted Clued Up a few years ago when he was unemployed, homeless, drinking and experimenting with drugs. With its help, he has made many positive changes to his life and is now looking forward to a bright future.
And just days after completing the Long Way Up, Chris was presented with the community award at Carnegie College, where he’ll start his second year of a three-year NC Hospitality course after the summer, with ambitions of becoming a chef.
The idea for the cycle challenge came from Kevin Scott, Clued Up development worker. As well as being a fundraiser, it was an opportunity to show young people can achieve something in their lives.
Kevin, together with Adam Nosal and Alan Dunlop, from Clued Up, partner Lochore Meadows Outdoor Education Centre, made up the rest of the cycling team, backed up by Richie Wilson, who drove the support minibus.
They enjoyed an amazing adventure of ups and downs and were joined by friends and family for a few sections of the route in Scotland. Kevin particularly enjoyed being joined by his youngest daughter, Erin, for a five-mile stretch near Wick, and he was surprised when his niece Bryony, her husband Neil and son Blane turned up to support them ahead of their final day, having followed the team’s progress on Facebook.
For Kevin, however, it was all about Chris and the transformation of his life.
“It took 15 months preparation and training, but Chris has been an inspiration with his sheer determination, motivation and hard work,” he said.
“He gave a speech at the end to all our family and friends gathered in John O’Groats, about how and why he got involved in Clued Up, and there were a few tears among those listening.
“The best bit for me, though, was a few days later at the college awards ceremony as Chris didn’t know he was getting an award. It was thoroughly deserved and we’re all so proud of him.”