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College boss walks 48 miles in 14 hours across three counties for the NSPCC

A PIONEERING college chief walked an incredible 48 miles in 14 hours across three counties for a children’s charity.

Coleg Cambria CEO David Jones and wife Julia trekked cross-country to all five North Wales campuses to raise money for the NSPCC.

The couple have already passed the £9,000 mark but are still pushing towards their target of £10,000.

Having set off at 5am from Llysfasi on Saturday, David and Julia hiked to Northop and on to Deeside, before heading for Yale and Bersham Road in Wrexham.

They then made their way back to Lysfasi, near Ruthin – a staggering 100,000 steps or 48 miles in 13 hours and 45 minutes of actual walking.

Julia completed the challenge despite suffering with blisters, aches and pains for much of the afternoon, and the pair pushed each other all the way, supported by passing motorists, friends, colleagues and family.

“It was an epic day, a really gruelling challenge in searing heat,” said David.

“Julia was really struggling around the halfway point but she bravely carried on and we got each other to the finish line.

“I must thank the many people who supported us throughout the day and donated to the charity.

“We are still collecting money so it’s not too late to support us – we and the NSPCC appreciate every pound given, as it goes to such an incredible cause.”

One of the NSPCC services that will benefit from their effort is Speak Out Stay Safe – a groundbreaking campaign which sees specially-trained staff and volunteers visiting primary schools to deliver assemblies which help equip pupils with the knowledge they need to recognise abuse and speak out about it.

In North Wales alone, the charity visited 147 primary schools in 2016-17 and spoke to 12,575 children.

Across the whole of Wales more than 58,000 children were reached across 491 primary schools, but the leading children’s charity wants to visit many more schools in the coming years, helped by money contributed by fundraisers like David.

He added: “It was a very long and tough day, but we are so happy to have taken every step and finished what we started.

“The NSPCC is an amazing organisation – it is Cambria’s chosen charity this year – so please keep giving them your support.”

Claire Hughes, community fundraising and partnerships manager for NSPCC Cymru, paid tribute to David and Julia for undertaking the “mammoth challenge” for the charity.

“Summer has definitely arrived in Wales and the warm conditions in North Wales would have made this walk all the more difficult,” said Claire.

“Undeterred, David and Julia kept going and achieved their goal.

“Their fundraising exploits – as well as the donations and sponsorships from those who have supported them – will help NSPCC Cymru continue our fight for every childhood in North Wales and beyond.

“We rely on funds raised by people like David and Julia to support our vital services for children and families, the educational work we carry out in schools, and Childline which is there 24/7 for children in desperate need of help.”

To sponsor David, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cylchcambriadaviddavidscambriacircle.