I wanted to get involved in the QS distance challenge in order to raise awareness for Barnados and QualitySolicitors and to try to encourage people to just get out in the fresh air and not stay indoors watching TV all the time.

I like the fact that both Barnardos and QS are committed to achieving an ambitious goal and that staff at both companies are getting involved regardless of age, ability/fitness level, schedule etc. It’s all about joining in and taking part in a big team effort to reach a mutual goal and encouraging people to be healthy and active and if we can all help to raise some well deserved money on the way then that, in my eyes, is just a bonus. QS are a forward thinking firm that are always trying to find new ways of providing the best possible service to our clients and our aim is to consistently meet and exceed their expectations. Barnardos are very similar in that they strive to provide the best possible care for vulnerable children and aim to help in whatever way they can to make sure the children they help are spared from as much stress and suffering as possible.

I have pledged to cycle 500 miles during May to help reach the target of 2,300 miles. I chose cycling as it’s a passion of mine and something I enjoy doing in my spare time. I love the fact you can just go somewhere and explore a new road or a new place that you’ve probably driven past a hundred times and never even noticed before, that for me is one of the main reasons why I love to get out on the bike (it helps if it’s warm and sunny obviously!). It’s all about appreciating what is around you and taking time out of your sometimes busy schedule to just go and enjoy it!

The work Barnardos does to help transform the lives of children is truly remarkable. Giving those children hope that things can get better and offering the support they need to leave their past behind them and build towards a bright future is simply inspiring so being given the opportunity to take part in a campaign such as the QualitySolicitors Distance Challenge to try to show our gratitude for the work Barnardos does is a real honour.

I would encourage anybody who is hesitant about getting involved to just go for it! I strongly believe in the tenet “nothing ventured nothing gained” and setting yourself a goal and then achieving it is a really rewarding experience. Even if you only feel you can only pledge 5 miles just do it, it’s all about getting involved and being part of the team and showing your support for a wonderful charity.

So far I have completed 331 miles and I am still hoping to reach my goal of 500 by the end of May. At times it has been tough, especially going out in the evening in rain and the wind which isn’t much fun but I just try to remember why I signed up to do it in the first place and then the miles seem to tick by a little easier. Having said that on the whole it has been thoroughly enjoyable and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

James rode 1,046.50 miles for the Barnardo's Distance challenge with QualitySolicitors parkinson Wright clocking up a total of 1,756.30.  As special recognition for his contribution, James received a personal message of thanks from Daley Thompson who won the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, breaking the world record for the event 4 times.