Russ sets sights on Africa
Bideford man embarks on 15,000-mile motorcycle adventure in aid of North Devon Hospice.
A NORTH Devon motorcyclist has set off on a 15,000-mile, continent-spanning charity journey of a lifetime.
Russell Johns, from Bideford, was waved off from North Devon Hospice by supporters on Thursday.
His epic three-month solo ride in aid of the charity will take him through 20 countries to Cape Town in South Africa.
Russell, who runs the Ultimate Adventure Centre near Bideford, hopes to raise �25,000 as well as awareness for the fledgling hospice movement in Africa.
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He is meeting every expense for his ‘Hospice African Adventure’ and has only recently passed his motorcycle test – specifically in preparation for the trip,
He said: “I have been a supporter of North Devon Hospice for some time, and have really enjoyed fundraising for them in the past.
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“But I felt my next charity challenge needed to be something exceptional, because what they do for local people really is exceptional.
“Being an outdoor pursuits instructor, I’m used to activities such as surfing, rock climbing and coasteering, so I’m in my element in the great outdoors.
“But the plains of Africa will be very different and a huge test for my endurance and willpower.”
Russell plans to visit a hospice in every African country he rides through, and Gazette readers will be able to follow his progress in regular updates in the newspaper.
He said: “We are lucky to have a network of hospices in the UK which provide care thanks to the charitable donations of others, but Africa is not so advanced in that respect.
“It will be an honour to visit different hospices across 10 African countries, and it will hopefully shine a spotlight on their struggle to provide quality end-of-life care in such a difficult environment.”
Emma Lowe from the hospice’s fundraising team said: “We’d like to thank him for taking on this unbelievable challenge to raise money for the cause.
“He is planning to ride through some beautiful but unstable parts of the world, so every day will bring a different kind of adventure.
“Russell is a very driven character so I’m sure he will not only reach Cape Town on the right date, but also reach his target of �25,000.”
To make a donation to his cause, visit www.hospiceafricanadventure.co.uk