“Imagine if the entire population of Chelmsford City suddenly had no access to water, taps ran dry, and there was no bottled water in sight. This is the reality for nearly 800 million people around the world who live without access to sources of drinking water”. This is how fundraiser Jonathan Collard begins the fundraising appeal on his website and, to emphasise his point, on 10 September, Jonathan will cycle from Chelmsford to Marrakech unaided, fundraising for Pump Aid.
Pump Aid, a charity with more than 15 years of experience working in Africa, aims to ensure everyone has access to clean water. In their words, they are “committed to achieving lasting positive change in people’s lives by improving the quality, availability and use of water with communities in need“. An average of 4000 or so children die in Africa each day due to dirty drinking water and disease caused by poor sanitation. When asked what motivates him, Jonathan quotes this statistic, saying “I think it is everyone’s basic human right to have clean drinking water and appropriate sanitation“.
Jonathan is hoping to cover 100 miles per day and his journey will include Paris, Barcelona, Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco. He aims to complete the incredible challenge in under 28 days!
Jonathan’s amazing task is made even more challenging as he battles with schizo-affective disorder. He says “It’s a serious mental health problem and makes every day tougher than usual and by doing this I am making a milestone in my life to look back on and be able to see what I am able to do with sheer perseverance and the will to succeed.” Although he knows the challenge will be daunting and that the hills and valleys will make it tough, he has planned a special treat to look forward to. He tells us “I have arranged a VIP ticket to go to one of the closing parties in Ibiza which is approximately half way on my journey and will provide a much needed rest for a couple of days. The club has it’s own swimming pool and VIP lounge areas so a few cocktails might be in order.”
To support Jonathan and donate to Pump Aid, visit his Virgin Money Giving page.