Sports enthusiast Stuart Welch will tackle a 24-hour bike ride from London to Lands End in aid of activities for youngsters in Calne run by Splash Wiltshire.

Mr Welch, who will take on the challenge only months after becoming Calne’s newest police officer, will join 300 other cyclists for the race on June 14, which is part of an event called Ride 24.

He starts work at Calne Police Station on March 17 after working with the police in Trowbridge and the West Midlands, where he volunteered for a similar charity.

Set up 24 years ago, the charity aims to raise young people’s self-esteem by providing free holiday activities including sport.

It relies on voluntary contributions and Mr Welch, 32, is keen to raise its profile.

He said: “It’s surprising how many people don’t know about it considering the activities are free. It makes a major difference to children.

“It helps children in hard to reach places, small towns where they haven’t got access to activities.

“It’s also for those children who are on the brink of anti-social behaviour and will hang around on street corners because they feel they have nothing to do.”

Mr Welch has a warm-up event on March 14 at the Tesco Extra in Trowbridge, when he will cycle on an exercise bike in the foyer.

He said: “I’ve done marathons and Ironman challenges but never a bike ride of that distance.

“The most I have cycled is 100 miles in one go, but this race is 24 hours non-stop.”

Firms supporting Mr Welch will have their names displayed on the back of his T-shirt. Email