Friends who met at Felsted raise more than £100,000 for charity with 240-mile eight-day run

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 July 2020

The four Felsted school friends at the finish line. Henry Holme, Andrew Ross, Conor Turner and Chris Balfour. Picture: Andrew Ross

The four Felsted school friends at the finish line. Henry Holme, Andrew Ross, Conor Turner and Chris Balfour. Picture: Andrew Ross

Andrew Ross

Four friends who met at Felsted School have raised £105,000 by running from Liverpool to London in eight days, with the funds going to an organisation that provides life saving support to men facing a suicidal crisis.

Delight they've finished their challenge successfully, the four Felsted school friends Henry Holme, Andrew Ross, Conor Turner and Chris Balfour enjoy a sit down and a drink! Picture: Andrew RossDelight they've finished their challenge successfully, the four Felsted school friends Henry Holme, Andrew Ross, Conor Turner and Chris Balfour enjoy a sit down and a drink! Picture: Andrew Ross

Henry Holme, Andrew Ross, Conor Turner and Chris Balfour, all aged 27, had originally planned to start the World Run 2020 challenge in Sydney in April, before flying to Dubai, Cairo, Rio De Janeiro, Miami and finishing in London with the Virgin Money London Marathon, covering 157.2 miles in 144 hours.

Their Plan B because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions became to run from Liverpool where the charity James’ Place is located to London, on a 240 mile, eight day route.

James’ Place was chosen as the charity offers free one-to-one support to people in crisis on a referral basis. It opened its first centre in Liverpool in 2018 and will be piloting an online service in London.

Andrew, whose parents live in Felsted, said it was so important for men to be encouraged to speak about their mental health. Several of the team have experienced people close to them take their own lives.

He said: “We found out about James’ Place. A couple of us went up to see the place. It’s so calming. It really helps people who are in suicidal crisis and mental strife. We wanted to help them recreate that elsewhere.”

He added: “It really struck a chord that we could do something quite tangible. Helping people was something that really appealed to us.”

Andrew and Chris have known each other since they were aged four. Conor joined the same school aged 10 and Henry joined at 13.

Despite going on to different universities and different careers, they’ve stayed best mates.

And he said it was this team spirit that supported them during the mentally and physically tough times of such a large run, and that got them over the finish line as a group at Hyde Park, where they felt a mixture of elation, success and relief.

Andrew said the group is thrilled that so many people have supported their efforts and the funds will be boosted through Gift Aid.

They’re still taking donations via https://www.theworldrun2020.com/donate

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