A soldier has helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity by cycling 100 kilometres every day for a month.
Staff Sergeant Dave Jarvis took part in the ‘100 for 100’ challenge to raise money for the Royal Signals Charity, as the Royal Corps of Signals celebrates its centenary year.
The challenge was set up in the absence of planned public events which were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The aim of ‘100 for 100’ was to encourage as many people as possible to walk, run or cycle 100 kilometres during the month of June.
However, as the Corps cycling champion, Staff Sergeant Jarvis decided to take it up a level and aimed to complete 100 kilometres every day in June.
He said: “The first couple [days] weren’t too bad because I’ve done 100k in one go before. I’ve done 100 miles in one go, you know, so it’s a normal sort of distance.
“But the third day onwards, it started to take its toll.
"I was sat up the whole time, and it’s my upper back and my neck that was hurting, it was aching by the end. It was four hours holding the position.
“That was probably the most difficult part, the holding the position for so long. So the solution was, was go faster and don’t spend so much time in it.”
On the final day of his challenge, Staff Sergeant Jarvis got a surprise show of appreciation from the local school.
He said: “The kids and that down the school, complete shock, did not know that was happening, hadn’t got a clue.
"As I was coming down the hill and I started spotting some umbrellas and I was like ‘OK what’s going on here’, and then I saw the first crowd of people from behind the car as I came around the bend and I think the look on my face probably said it all really.
“Was not expecting it, so that was a really nice surprise that was, that was really good.”
At the end of the gruelling ordeal, there was a chance to compare notes with others who have taken part in 100 for 100.
In January, Corporal John Hayes suffered a massive stroke, initially leaving him unable to walk. However, he went on to take part in the challenge.
He told Forces News: “Luckily my wife, you know quick thinking, got me to the hospital straight away which probably saved my life. When I woke up in the hospital, yeah like I say, I was really sick, my eyes were just constantly moving on their own so I couldn’t control them, felt like I was on the waltzers for weeks, that went on maybe for months actually that lasted.
“I couldn’t sit up in bed let alone stand, at the time. I was unsure what the future was going to be like.”
Corporal Hayes was going through intensive rehab when coronavirus struck and he was sent home from the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre for his own safety.
“I was just training on my own in the garden, doing skype sessions with physios and I saw the 100 for 100 on social media being advertised," he said.
"My wife was saying ‘look you should give that a go but you shouldn’t do it with your walking frame, you should try and do it, you know, just walking,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to because, at the time, I was only doing really really short distances. I put it online and then yeah people just started sponsoring and went a bit crazy and I thought yeah I’ve got to do it now.”
As well as working on his recovery, in March the family welcomed baby Lucy into the world.
Corporal Hayes added: “It’s been quite tricky for our family which kind of brought it home the charity and why it’s there. Lucky for me, my family are just down the road so they’ve all been able to help us out.
“But I’m sure there’ll be people in the future and in the past who’ve needed the Royal Signals charity to help them when they’ve been in similar situations to me. So raising money for them really has been a delight.”
Those taking part in 100 for 100 for the Royal Signals Charity have so far raised more than £58,000 and the total continues to grow.