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Published on October 28th, 2013 | by The Town Crier


Bidborough man in 5000m shotput charity challenge

A local man is hoping to break into the Guinness Book of Records this week with an ambitious charity challenge.

John Fenton, from Bidborough in Tunbridge Wells hopes to achieve the world record for throwing a shot put a total of 5,000 metres. The gruelling challenge takes place at the Dartford Athletics Club on Saturday 12 October and the 56-year-old believes that it will involve around 500 throws and take about three hours to complete.

John is aiming to raise £5,000 for The National Autistic Society (NAS), a charity close to his heart. John’s 23-year-old son, Alistair, has autism, a lifelong disability that affects more than 1 in 100 people in the UK.

Alistair has limited speech and lives in supported accommodation just a mile away from his parents’ home. He can carry out some everyday actions himself but requires support for activities involving social interaction, such as going to the bank or buying milk from the local shop.

John hopes his challenge will raise awareness of autism and the challenges faced by parents and carers of people with the condition.

John, who is a self-employed management consultant, said: “Raising Alistair and seeing him grow and develop has been a pleasure but it’s also been very hard on us as a family. Autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on families but the right support at the right time can make a huge difference.

“Hopefully this challenge will raise some money for the NAS so they can continue providing support and services, like respite care, to families like mine. If the funds I raise help just one family to access support, then all the months of training will have been worth it.”

Dave Boorman, Head of Supporter Fundraising at the NAS, said: “It’s always humbling to see the determination and hard work that NAS supporters like John put into creating a better world for people with autism.

“Without fundraising events like this, we wouldn’t be able to continue our work supporting people affected by the disability and helping them to lead the life they choose. John is truly inspirational and I hope that people in Kent will get behind him.”

You can sponsor John on his Just Giving page here: http://www.justgiving.com/John-Fenton


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