A cyclist who spent seven years travelling around the world gave a series of inspiring talks to students at Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy.

Leigh Timmis returned from his epic trip just seven weeks ago after setting off from Derby on his bike in 2010.

He raised £10,000 for Derbyshire Children’s Centre and travelled 43,000 miles across 51 countries, coming face to face with a mountain lion in North America, cycling in minus 40C temperatures in Tibet and fearing that he might die after losing a bag of water in the Australian desert.

After talking to different year groups at Saint John Houghton CVA, in Kirk Hallam, Leigh met a group of students and staff who are keen cyclists and answered their questions.

They asked him about his trip, his bike, adjusting to life back at home in Derby and if he would do it all again.

Leigh said: “It was a great learning experience which totally changed my life and I just don’t worry about the insignificant things any more but seven years was a long time. I would like to do more trips and have more adventures but perhaps not as long.

“I’m just a normal guy from Derby but what I have done has brought me a life that I love. I talked to the students about what I did and hopefully I can have some effect on the next generation. I just love to see students’ eyes lighting up and being able to motivate other people.”

Joan McCarthy, head teacher at Saint John Houghton CVA, thanked Leigh for visiting the academy.

She said: “We would like to say a big thankyou to Leigh for visiting us and telling our staff and students all about his amazing trip.

“Hopefully our students are feeling inspired by what Leigh had to say and are thinking positively about what the future could hold for them and maybe some of them are even planning their own adventures.”

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