A challenge to complete seven 10km runs in seven weeks has been organised by Giles Bell, a former housemaster at Shrewsbury School, and now senior admissions tutor.
The 54-year-old and a group of 33 runners from across the country, including pupils, are raising money to be split between the Shrewsbury Ark, which looks after the town’s homeless people, and Restart Africa, which works with abandoned and unwanted children in Kenya.
Spurred on by each other via WhatsApp updates, the group takes in runners from across the country, from Shrewsbury, to London to Edinburgh, with the youngest just 10, and the oldest 55.
The original target was to raise £1,000 to be split between the Shrewsbury Ark, which looks after the town’s homeless people, and Restart Africa, which works with abandoned and unwanted children in Kenya.
Giles, a former housemaster at Shrewsbury School, and now senior admissions tutor, said that each time they hit the target he had moved the goalposts, with the team but the team has now passed £4,000 – reaching £4,804.88 with gift aid.
He said it had provided a great distraction during lockdown, with both mental and physical benefits.
He said: “What I think is really good about this is people have enjoyed being part of a team. Even though one of us is running in Shrewsbury, one is in Edinburgh, it has kind of pulled people together.
"We have a WhatsApp group and there has a been a bit of banter on there, it has brought people together doing something positive.
“I think people have really benefitted from it. It does their mental health good and gives people a bit of a buzz from raising money for charity.”
He said that he had been pleasantly surprised at the team continually beating the fundraising target.
He said: “Initially I set a target of £1,000 because I wanted something I thought was achievable. That is why it was seven 10kms in seven weeks, because I wanted something I could cope with.
“When we got to £1,000 I thought we would push it to £2,000 and that’s what we have done every time we have reached the target.
Mr Bell said: “£4,000 is more than I thought we would get and I am delighted we have raised this much money for the two charities.”