Michael's on a mission... but watch out for Welsh Nessie!

A youth from Leighton Buzzard set himself a Herculean challenge of four mighty tasks '“ one in each of the United Kingdom's countries '“ to raise money for charity.

Michael Desmond, 13, is no stranger to charity fundraising. In 2013, he cycled from Leighton Buzzard to Watford on the canal tow path for his 11th birthday and raised over £400 for Help for Heroes.

But this time, the Cedars Upper School pupil is determined to go bigger.

Michael has set himself a physical challenge in each of the UK’s four countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. And, he has chosen a charity to support for each event.

Mum Susan told the LBO: “He said he wanted to do something a bit different, bigger.

“He picked the countries out of a bowler hat and then the charities out of the other.

“He chose charities that he thought would make a difference, particularly for other children less fortunate. And he said, ‘I want to do something that’s physically challenging’.”

On Friday, June 2 he starts this challenge at Lake Bala in North Wales, which has the largest natural body of water in Wales, and even – legend has it – its own version of the Loch Ness monster!

Michael will be canoeing the length of Lake Bala and back again, a total of around seven miles, having already completed a 12-week canoeing and kayaking course to prepare. For this event, he will be raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Further events planned are a 12-hour ‘cyclethon’ in Leighton Buzzard, climbing Ben Nevis and bouldering off the cliffs of Northern Ireland.

See www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MichaelDesmond2016challenge.