A blind man who is planning to row 128 miles of the Thames to help young people will be stopping off at Old Windsor on the way.

James Shone, founder of the charity I Can and I Am sets off from Lechlade on Wednesday, April 26 reaching Old Windsor on Sunday, April 30. He will cover the final stretch from Old Windsor to Teddington and the big finish on Monday, May 1.

Mr Shone, a school teacher and house master, was forced to quit teaching in 2013 following a brain tumour that left him without sight and his body partially disabled.

He is passionate about the issue of mental ill health, which he believes is the new cancer of young people today. He has spent three years visiting hundreds of schools.

He said: “We plan to raise £50,000 during the Thames Challenge 2017 to support projects within state secondary schools for both pupils and staff. We will focus on giving young people the tools to build belief in themselves and to develop the ability to deal with setbacks."

The rowing challenge will help raise money in 2017 for the charity to launch a one-to-one mentoring scheme for teachers to use with their students. This will take the form of an 'I Can and I Am' mentoring booklet.

James will have a team around him to support him along every mile and the project has already received considerable support, including the generous loan of a ‘tub pair’ boat by the Leander rowing club.

James is married to Olivia, has four children and a dog called Alfie.