WHILE most teaching staff will be using the summer holidays for some well-earned rest, one St Matthew's Academy teacher will be taking to the outdoors for an epic charity cycle.

Stewarton man Steven Charters won't be putting his feet up when the final bell rings, he will be getting on his bike to cover the West Highland Way for his favourite charity.

The biology teacher is hoping to complete the mammoth 96-mile route in only one day to raise funds for the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF).

The charity helps people in the world’s poorest places to lift themselves out of poverty, work together to protect the common home, and help people recover from disaster.

It is a charity of which Steven is well aware - particularly as pupils from St Matthew's Academy in Saltcoats, where he works, often fundraise for the organisation.

The 36-year-old commented: “I’ve been aware of SCIAF’s work for many years, and St Matthew’s pupils do a lot of fundraising for them.

"SCIAF does great work around the world and they support the same values as I do, looking out for everyone in the community.”

Steven does not have an exact day for his cycle just yet - but he knows no matter what he has a very tough task ahead.

As well as running 96-miles in total, the West Highland Way also includes a gruelling 15,000 feet of climbing throughout.

Steven, who is married to Joanne and has two young sons, said: “There are a few spots where I will need to get off and carry my bike up a hill – one is along Loch Lomond and the other is at Glencoe.

“I’m going to keep my eye on the weather forecast to decide what day I will go, but think it will be June 30 or July 1.

"What would be ideal would be a dry, dull and mild day – so not too sunny or hot, or wet.”

So what aims has Steven set for his challenge? While there is a record time for the challenge, the biology teacher says he would be content with just crossing the finishing line.

He added: “The record is held by cyclist Connor Swift, who completed the route in an amazing 8 hours, 32 minutes and 28 seconds, but he’s a Tour de France competitor, so I will double that and hope for the best.

"I will set off from Milngavie and hope to make Fort William around 10pm.”

Though no matter what, Steven knows he will have a lot of support behind him.

He commented: “My thanks go to my dad, who will be my support on the day. He’ll be ‘following’ in the car and checking in at various points.

"As well as some bikes spares – I’m bound to need them – he will be carrying the all-important bananas and Lucozade to keep me fuelled up.

“Joanne and my boys Robbie (five) and Niall (two) have been a great support too and I hope by doing this I can inspire my own children to take on challenges in their lives.

“Every pound raised will bring us one step closer to transforming lives and creating a brighter future for those who need to most.”

If you would like to support Steven in his fundraiser, you can do so via his JustGiving page - tinyurl.com/StevenCharters.