FRIENDS of a much-missed young sportsman are cycling from London to Monmouth in his memory this Saturday (July 6) to raise money for charity.

Former Monmouth Comprehensive pupil Oliver 'Shrub' Hedges, 26, who rowed at the school and later at Birmingham University where he graduated in Maths, died last September at his home in London, where he was working as a software engineer in the City.

Shrub was a keen rower and cyclist
Shrub was a keen rower and cyclist (Callum Cook)

A keen cyclist, he cycled from his home in Balham to see his family in Monmouth in November 2022, starting at 4am, and his old university mates will be tackling the 160-mile route in tribute to their friend and in aid of mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

It isn't the first time his friends have banded together to remember Oliver, with 17 of them joining his dad John for a 10-mile walk along the Wye and up to the Kymin – including the last route Oliver walked in Monmouth in June before he died in the September.

Oliver’s buddy Matt also ran the London Marathon in his memory, raising £1,422 for South London mind.

And a group of friends raised money for calm by running 5k everyday during November for Movember raising £10,000.

Another buddy is also participating in Iron man Estonian in August to raise money.

Friend Callum Cook said on their JustGiving fundraising page: "Shrub was a very strong cyclist and a few of us had the pleasure of cycling with him around Birmingham in lockdown, around the coast of Wales and from Birmingham to London.

"In November 2022 Shrub set off at 3.51am and decided to cycle from London to Monmouth on his own.

"He didn't make a big deal about it and just posted it onto Strava captioned 'night ride'.

"On July 6th this year, we (a group of his friends from university) are planning to follow Shrub's route from London to Monmouth.

"We are going to make a bigger deal of it than Shrub did and hopefully will raise some money for CALM (campaign against living miserably) in the process."

The cyclists are set to finish the ride with a welcome and a well-earned pint at the Punch House in Agincourt Square.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a suicide prevention charity that helps people find the support they need, including a life-saving helpline for people who can’t see a way forward, have lost someone to suicide, or are worried about their friends or loved ones.

To donate to the bike ride go to 'Shrub's fundraiser for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)' at and for more information see