Ed has raised over £300,000 for the 'School in a Bag' charity after becoming the first person to circumnavigate the world on a unicycle. The charity delivers rucksacks filled with stationery and learning resources to disadvantaged children across the world. His journey started in March 2015 and involved unicycling through Europe, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan before travelling across China and through South East Asia to Singapore. He then took on Australia, New Zealand, and the United States before flying to Edinburgh to complete the final 500 miles home to Somerset. After his three year trip, he was met at the finish line at 'School in a Bag' headquarters in Somerset, where he was cheered on by family, friends and fans. The funds raised will help almost 15,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable young people obtain essential school supplies.
In a personal letter to Ed, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
"Your dedication to fundraising in support of School In A Bag's important work is remarkable. As a result of your record-breaking unicyle trip around the world, thousands of vulnerable young people will be able to access essential school supplies and educational equipment."
David Warburton MP, Ed's local MP for Somerton and Frome, said:
"I'm absolutely thrilled that Ed has won the Points of Light award – and deservedly so for his tremendous fundraising achievement for the 'School in a Bag' charity. The Points of Light award is a fabulous recognition of those who really go above and beyond with fundraising, and I can barely imagine a more impressive effort on behalf of others than that which Ed has made. Well done to him and I congratulate him on a fantastic success!"
Luke Simon, CEO and Founder of 'School In A Bag' said:
"Through Ed's incredible journey, he has spread the 'School in a Bag' message into more corners of the globe than we could ever have dreamed! His videos documenting his trip have been inspiring and always included the charity too, which helped lead onto many donations over the three and a half years, including a quite incredible one of over £270,000! This has meant through Ed's fundraising, we've been able to fund 15,474 School Bags over 9 projects in 8 different countries – not only an incredible feat unicycle-wise, but an amazing amount of money raised too!"
"I'm honoured to receive this award. I'm really pleased that this will bring more awareness of 'School in a Bag' and the help they are providing to children all over the world. It has certainly been enjoyable to hang up my unicycle and spend time with friends and family. My days recently have been spent editing the endless hours of footage I captured on my trip, turning it into high quality documentary videos. I have also been sharing my experiences on stage and am available for booking as a speaker."
Ed is the 1015th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.
Regardless of whether it's a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.
Notes to Editors
1. The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
2. The Prime Minister makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country.
3. If people know someone who could be a Point of Light they should write to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.
4. Website: www.pointsoflight.gov.uk