Russell’s 15,000 mile African epic for hospice

Local motorcyclist to follow in the ‘Long way Down’ tyre tracks of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman to raise money for North Devon Hospice.

A NORTH Devon man is setting off on the 15,000 mile charity journey of a lifetime as he bids to follow in the tyre tracks of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman.

Russell Johns of the Ultimate Adventure Centre near Bideford will be setting off from the UK in November, destination Cape Town in South Africa.

Unlike the famous trailblazers, whose journey featured in the television series ‘Long Way Down’, Russell will be completing his ride solo, and he hopes to raise �25,000 for North Devon Hospice along the way.

“I’ve been a supporter of North Devon Hospice for some time, and have really enjoyed fundraising for them in the past,” hew said.

“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.

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But the plains of Africa will be very different and a huge test for my endurance and willpower.”

Russell has only recently passed his motorcycle test – specifically in preparation for his 10-week trip.

He plans to visit a hospice in every country he rides through, to raise awareness of the fledgling hospice movement in Africa.

“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,” he continued.

“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.”

Russell is meeting every expense for his ‘Hospice African Adventure’ to ensure that every pound raised goes to helping those cared for by North Devon Hospice.

“It is obviously an expensive trip, and the red tape involved in riding a motorcycle through Africa is phenomenal, but I hope that doing something as extraordinary as this will inspire people to donate to the cause,” he said.

“I am currently looking for businesses who would like to sponsor me, so I hope plenty of local companies will help me hit my �25,000 fundraising target. Packages start from just �100, with lots of perks for the companies involved, and every penny of sponsorship will go to the hospice.”

Emma Lowe from the hospice’s fundraising team said it was an amazing thing that Russell was preparing to do.

“We’d like to thank him for taking on this unbelievable challenge to raise money for the cause,” she said.

“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.”

For more information about Russell’s trip, including ways in which you can donate towards his target, go to

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