A CYCLING enthusiast has inspired young people to change their lives.

James Kelly, a customer service advisor at the 02 call centre in Runcorn, teamed up with some of the country’s top BMX trainers to motivate local disadvantated youngsters.

He has been a volunteer mentor with his company’s Think Big project for several years and has achieved such amazing results, he has been awarded a £1,000 bursary.

He has encouraged many young people who were misbehaving to sort their lives out and help other people.

James, aged 30, who lives with his partner and 10-year-old son in Warrington, said: “I was over-awed. It was a surprise but it is nice to be recognised.

“I have always enjoyed cycling and BMX racing.

“The message I give to young people is whatever passion you have, you can use it to drive you to success.

“I might be 30 but I don’t act like a 30-year-old. I can have conversations and relate with younger lads. It is very rewarding to be able to pass on your skills and help youngsters who were going off the rails.”

He will use the bursary for courses to develop his skills.

02 spokesman Ann McCracken said: “His passion for working with young people is evident to see when you see him in action.”

Three-quarters of the 1,500 employees at 02 have volunteered with Think Big over the past year, working with 4,706 young people.

Schools, charities and businesses are invited to a meet Think Big evening on Wednesday, February 12, from 6pm to 8pm. Anyone interested can call Donna Plumbley on 07838 or e-mail donna.plumbley@telefonica.com