A DUNFERMLINE teenager is to embark on an epic 500-mile journey after a BBC Children in Need project changed his life.

Greg Francis has been selected to join a team of riders for this year's BBC The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge.

The 18-year-old was picked for the team following his involvement with Scottish Sport Future's Twilight Basketball, a project supported by BBC Children in Need Funding.

Originally from Poland, Greg was only nine when he lost his dad.

In the aftermath, Greg's mum moved with him to the UK, where Greg was often left on his own.

He regularly went hungry, wore clothes or shoes that were too small, and lacked emotional support.

Without a strong grasp of the English language, he felt completely isolated.

Greg was then introduced to Twilight Basketball, which provides leadership training, life skills development and volunteer opportunities, all while giving young people a chance to have fun and make new friends through basketball sessions.

It was at these basketball sessions that Greg met his friend, Lewis.

Lewis began inviting Greg over to his home and on outings with his family.

At the same time, one of the coaches from Twilight Basketball took notice of Greg’s situation. Although it was hard to admit what was happening at home, confiding in his coach changed Greg’s life once more, as Lewis’ family stepped in and offered to foster him.

Speaking of his involvement in this year’s challenge, Greg, said: "Despite everything I have been through in my life, I consider myself to be very fortunate. At Twilight Basketball I not only made new friends, I found a group of people who really cared for and supported me when I needed it most.

"Thanks to them, I have a family and I know I’m not alone.

"I’m excited to take on the Rickshaw Challenge because I want to give back!

"Through this, I hope that other young people faced with a similar situation will receive the help they need."

Now in its seventh year, this year’s Rickshaw team will pedal an epic 500 miles from The One Show studio in London to the River Clyde in Glasgow, all to raise money for BBC Children in Need.

Cycling alongside the team is The One Show’s Matt Baker, who will go on the road to offer support and advice throughout the journey, while Alex Jones follows their every move, cheering the team on, live from the studio.

The young riders depart on Tuesday, November 7 and will work their way across the UK in a bid to cross the finish line on Friday, November 17, during BBC Children in Need’s 2017 Appeal Show.