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John's raising funds for the Haven Centre

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John Prendergast is 19 years old and lives in Fort Augustus, near Inverness. Having just left school, John decided to take some time out of education. He hopes to read Geography at university in 2023.

On the 14th of January 2023, John will be setting off from Cairo, Egypt to cycle 5400 miles over the course of 96 days, arriving in Cape Town, South Africa on the 22nd of April. Almost 100 nights spent in a tent will see John voided of his creature comforts, especially as he travels through particularly inhospitable environments such as the dry and arid Sahara Desert.
He is doing this to raise vital funds for the Elsie Normington foundation which is a charity currently constructing a respite and play centre in Inverness for children and young adults up to the age of 30 with learning difficulties and complex special needs. This will be known as the Haven Centre and, when completed, will be Scotland’s first multi-purpose centre, providing respite and social care for these young people, as well as crucial support for their families. The centre will offer safe, happy, and appropriate activities for its service users, while their families have a short break from the unrelenting commitment of the round the clock complete and loving care that they provide.
John is one of seven children. His older brother, Andrew, is 21 years old and has Down’s Syndrome and is Autistic. Every day is a challenge for Andrew, and it is a huge task for his family to provide appropriate and loving care round the clock for him. Andrew left school during the lockdown of 2020, and is yet to fully understand why he no longer has that constant place of support and activity in his routine. John has dedicated a huge amount of time over the past few months to train and ensure that he is fit enough to take on this challenge, putting him in the best position possible to raise funds for the Haven Centre which, will be of huge help to young people and their families across the Highlands.

He is being sponsored by the Junior Duke Award and will send back regular videos showing how the life skills challenges covered in the Award are crucial in everyday life. It is his hoped that every school offering the Junior Duke Award to its pupils will follow his journey and perhaps even fundraise for him by doing their own '54' event related to the 5400 miles he will be covering!
John would be very grateful for any donation that you can offer to help to get the Haven Centre a little closer to completion. Growing up around the daily hardships faced by his brother and family, John is driven by the desire to help to transform the lives of young people with special and complex needs, and your generosity would go a huge way in helping him to fulfil this goal.

A proportion of the money raised will go towards the many costs associated with the expedition. All remaining funds will be given to the Elsie Normington Foundation.

Thank you.


Dawn Waugh

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