Bearsden physician has heart for cycling challenge

Jesse and Kirsty Dawson.
Jesse and Kirsty Dawson.

A consultant physician from Bearsden is preparing to take on a daunting task to raise funds for the Prince’s Trust.

Jesse Dawson (39) has signed up for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain in September, a gruelling 969-mile, nine-day cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

He said: “I’ll be 40 in August and I just wanted to do something to mark it.

“I’ve always been interested in sports, but I picked up a very bad ankle injury and had to give up running.

“I’m new to cycling, but it just seemed to be a natural fit and something I would be capable of doing.”

As professor of stroke medicine in the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Jesse believes he has the lung power and general fitness to tackle the cycle trek.

His wife, Kirsty (40) has added muscle to the fundraising effort by taking part in her first triathlon, which included an open-water swim.

The couple are aiming to raise £3,000 for the charity through a number of events.

Last week, they held a successful family fun day at St Andrew’s Church in Bearsden, helping to push the fundraising total to around £1,800.

He said: “We both work in health care –Kirsty is a GP – and we thought long and hard about a charity.

“Of course, it seemed obvious to fundraise for something medical.

“However, when we read about the Prince’s Trust, raising money for something that gives youth a better chance seemed right.

“They do lots of great work for young people.”

The Prince’s Trust helps 11 to 30-year-olds who are unemployed or struggling at school to transform their lives.

Many of the young people helped are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health issues or have been in trouble with the law. The charity’s free programmes give young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. Last year, more than 58,000 young people were helped in this way, with three out of four going on to jobs, education and training.

Jesse hopes people will visit the Dawsons’ Virgin Money Giving page.

He said: “That way you can be sure your money will contribute to a very sore bottom, hours of pain and cycling across Britain in the wind and rain and unpleasant experiences in the water.”

Donations can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JesseDawson