James takes virtual jog to help local charity

    James Hughes

    A NOVICE runner from the town is aiming to travel the length of Great Britain for a charity close to his heart – but without stepping foot outside Tonbridge.

    James Hughes, 26, was keen to journey the 812 miles from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall, commonly known as JOGLE, in order to raise funds for the Alexandra Sales Trust – a charity which helps fund enjoyable activities for children being treated for cancer.

    The trip connects Britain’s most north-east and south-west extremities.

    However, due to the constraints of a full-time job at Newton Waterproofing Systems in Sovereign Way, Mr Hughes decided to bring the same challenge closer to home.

    He is currently undertaking a ‘virtual JOGLE’ over the course of a year, through regularly running around the streets of Tonbridge.

    “I need to complete an average of 15.63 miles and 364.31ft each and every week,” he said.

    “Now this may not sound too bad to a more experienced runner, but for someone who definitely isn’t a keen runner the reality seems daunting, to say the least.”

    It is his relationship with the charity that has spurred him on, meaning he is currently 20 miles ahead of schedule since starting in January.

    Mr Hughes has become very close to the St Mary’s Platt-based charity over the past four years, which was established by the family of Alexandra Sales after she died aged
    just 17.

    She passed away three years ago after suffering from Mastitis Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare, rapidly spreading soft tissue cancer.

    In response, the trust was established to raise ‘smile money’ for other children being treated for cancer.

    It may be a trip away with the family or a new Mac computer for a keen designer. They simply ‘want to gift a memory’.

    “I’ve seen first-hand the huge impact they make on people’s lives and it is absolutely incredible what they do and the effort the whole family put into it,” said Mr Hughes.

    “What they went through, but also the great work they do now, is what gives me the motivation to run the miles week after week.”

    You may spot Mr Hughes around the streets of Tonbridge, and are encouraged to offer your support. So far he has raised more than £550.

    To track James Hughes’ progress or to
    donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/James-Jogs-JOGLE