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Posted on Apr 6 2023 by Fiona Bailey

A self-confessed “hater of running” has just completed a month-long challenge which involved him doing a 5K jog everyday raising nearly £1,500 for charity. 

Martin O’Dowd, Head of Physical Healthcare, decided he wanted to do something to raise money by finding an activity which would be a mental and physical challenge for him.

The money he has raised will be donated to the Besstel Foundation, an organisation that aims to enhance awareness of mental health in Ghana and other parts of Africa.

Last year Martin flew out to the country to do some voluntary work there and since being back has vowed to do as much as he can to help the charity.

He said: “Whilst in Ghana I met some amazing people in a beautiful country but also had some challenging experiences meeting those who were in great need of support.

“It can be difficult to donate to people you cannot see, in a country that is far away but I believe those of us who have a little to spare should try and support humanitarian issues all over the world, wherever there is need and people less fortunate than ourselves.”

The average wage in the African country is the equivalent of £60 a month and the cost of living is not as cheap as many would think.

Some of Martin’s fundraiser money will be used to purchase much needed equipment for the Children’s Ward at Accra Psychiatric Hospital. The rest will be used to support future visits to Ghana where a team of specialists provide education to healthcare professionals and work in small rural communities supporting with education and donations.

Martin added: “I’ll admit it, I’m not a natural runner, in fact I think I would go as far as to say that I’m a general hate of running, which is why this challenge I set myself has been so gruelling. But I have proud to say I’ve completed it and I’m still open to donations so for those who can, please dig deep.”

Click here to donate.