St. Neots Marathon Man smashes running goal and raises money for Bedford homeless

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St. Neots runner Andy Walton has completed his first marathon raising funds for a local homeless charity.

Andy (51) ran the virtual Edinburgh Marathon (#virtualEMF) on Saturday 29 May to support Bedford charity Jubilation Action Group (JAG).

The Beds based charity has been serving homeless people since 2019.

The pandemic put paid to their regular service and the organisation has needed support from local groups and individuals.

Step up Andy Walton, a regular JAG volunteer, who decided to combine his marathon running dream with raising much needed cash.

Andy, who lives in Eynesbury, only took up running five years ago. He started with the ‘couch to 5k’ and progressed to the Milton Keynes half marathon, which he has completed 3 times.

He has also completed the Bedford Half marathon.

He has applied for the London Marathon five times but been unsuccessful. To motivate himself he applied for the Edinburgh Marathon last year, but this was postponed due to Covid.

Andy’s dream finally became a reality this May, albeit a virtual one, when the Edinburgh run became a virtual event.

Andy ran from his home in St. Neots to Kempston Bedfordshire, beating his goal of running in under 5 hours.

He finished in 4 hours 59 mins and 26 seconds.

The charity, which supports the homeless and rough sleepers in Bedfordshire, is run solely by unpaid volunteers.

They share a vision to improve their local community and create a safe and accepting space for all.

The venture started small, with just a gazebo and a couple of tables in the town centre, providing hot drinks, clothing, and toiletries for the needy.

From there they started serving hot meals at Christmas.

Although work paused during the pandemic, they are now continuing in a ‘safer and smarter’ way.

A donation from Unilever allowed them to buy a food trailer, providing a mobile and more extensive service.

They are currently raising funds to get this up and running (excuse the pun), which is where Andy’s efforts come in.

JAG still need support and the donation pot for Andy’s run will remain open until 19 June. To donate visit here.

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