AN AMATEUR cyclist will ride 66 miles to raise money for a charity that helped him bond with his disabled wife through video games.

Jason Jones, from Witney, is taking part in the 2019 Etape Loch Ness in April in aid of Charlbury-based charity SpecialEffect.

The 45-year-old and wife Louise, who has cerebral palsy and now lives in a care home, played PlayStation 3 together thanks to the charity back in 2013.

Mr Jones is keen to give something back and wants to raise £1,500, with several Witney businesses contributing prizes to a raffle.

He has borderline personality disorder and started cycling regularly last year to improve his mental health and lose weight.

Since then, 60-mile rides have become common, so the Etape Loch Ness was a logical challenge for Mr Jones.

He said: “I was a bit of a couch potato until I started cycling seriously.

“It helps my mental health to go out cycling as I’m out on my own and it focuses the mind.”

Mr Jones has lived in West Oxfordshire since 2000 but is originally from Scotland and grew up near the famous loch where the challenge takes place.

In 2007 he became Louise’s full-time carer, which took up his time until December 2015, when she was moved into a care home.

During this time, the couple sought the help of SpecialEffect, which uses video games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities.

The charity matches, modifies and creates gaming equipment based on an individual’s needs and Mr Jones was touched by the support given to him and his wife.

In the last two years he has pledged to get fitter and cycling and Slimming World classes have seen his weight drop from 20st 10lbs in October 2017 to 17st 6lbs today.

In August, he became a director for West Oxfordshire Community Transport, a not-for-profit organisation that provides daily scheduled bus services.

But Mr Jones, who also suffers from occasional depression and anxiety, says working full-time is still a formidable hurdle.

He said: “When something happens I shut myself away.

“It’s quite a difficult thing to cope with.

“Most people see a physically fit person that can work but because I’ve been bullied in workplaces in the past I normally go into my shell.

“If I did go back to work I’d like to go into fundraising.”

Mr Jones signed up for Etape Loch Ness in November, setting up a Facebook page and approaching Witney businesses since then.

He has already received almost £350 worth of prizes from Witney businesses, including the Shake Shop, Blue Boar and the Royal Oak.

On February 4, Como Lounge, in Witney Market Square, will dedicate funds from its Monday night quiz to SpecialEffect, with Mr Jones planning to hold the raffle that night.

His mum was diagnosed with leukemia last year and Mr Jones said any future fundraising efforts would be dedicated to a cancer charity.

To donate visit or @JasonsMonsterChallenge2019 on Facebook.