Cardiff man Chris Jones has rowed the distance between Cardiff and London to raise thousands of pounds for leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire’s urgent PPE appeal.

Chris raised £5289, more than three times his original target of £1500, after being inspired by fundraisers like Captain Tom Moore to make a difference.

Chris, who works for executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, rowed 242km (150 miles) over five days. This is the distance between his home on the outskirts of Cardiff and his employer’s head office at Cannon Street in London.

Leonard Cheshire was voted in as Odgers Berndtson’s annual charity partnership last year by staff at the company. Seeing Leonard Cheshire’s urgent appeal for donations to cover the costs of PPE, Chris came up with the idea to complete an epic rowing challenge to help.

Chris said: “I didn’t like sitting at home while nurses, doctors and carers went out to keep us all safe, so when I found out about Leonard Cheshire’s appeal I eagerly stepped up to help. I compete in a charity rowing competition at work each year, which gave me the inspiration – though that is a 2km race and this is quite a bit more!

“I rowed 50km a day for the first four days, then 42km on day five. I admit, after 100km I realised I’d underestimated the scale of the challenge, but I was committed by then and determined to finish come what may. I’ve been amazed at people’s generosity. I hit my original fundraising target of £1500 on day one, and also overtook my revised target of £3000.”

Laura Crandley, executive director of partnerships at Leonard Cheshire, said:

“Chris really has blown us away with his incredible efforts. As with all charities, we are seeing rising costs of PPE due to national shortages, and heroes like Chris help us close the gap and protect our frontline staff.

“Thank you to Chris, and to all at Odgers Berndtson for their vital support for our charity during these extraordinary times.”

Leonard Cheshire runs care homes, supported living facilities and services for over 3,000 disabled people across the UK supporting them to live, learn and work independently. During this time, PPE is vital to help protect staff, their families and residents from the coronavirus. Currently, Leonard Cheshire is spending £400,000 on PPE each month, with the figure expected to rise significantly.  

The leading UK disability charity has launched an urgent PPE appeal to cover these rising costs. People can donate as little as £5 to help protect frontline staff by going to leonardcheshire.org and clicking on the ‘Protect our carers with PPE’ link.