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Withywood resident follows in footsteps of Captain Tom with his own fundraising walk

A Shropshire pensioner has been inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to take on a fundraising challenge of his own.

John Brayne, 89 has pledged to walk 90 laps around his home - WIthywood extra care scheme in Shrewsbury - in time for his 90th birthday at the end of April.

John will be cheered on by staff and neighbours has he undertakes the challenge in memory of his wife Jean – who passed away from bowel cancer in 2019. He is also raising money for Severn Hospice, who helped care for Jean during her fight with the disease.

John said:

“I just thought it would be something good to do. I started thinking about it last year and I was determined to do something to coincide with my 90th birthday. I’ve had a little bit of a practice run and I’m feeling good about it.

“It’s been the talk of the town here at WIthywood – all of my neighbours are really excited and they’ll be cheering me on.”

“I've planned it so that I do a few laps each day, and that will make it 90 by the time I get to 90 at the end of April”

John is no stranger to fundraising, having previously raised over £400,000 for good causes with his wife Jean.

The couple, who then worked at the Lazy Trout cafe in Marshbroom, became qualified dance teachers nearly 40 years ago. They specialised in sequence dancing – a popular form of social dancing based on the normal ballroom and Latin steps.

Proceeds from all the many classes and dances generated a colossal sum for dozens of worthy causes.

And John hopes his exploits will now raise a healthy sum for Severn Hospice.

John added:

“The nurses at Severn Hospice were very compassionate and made sure Jean was comfortable. They do some fantastic work in the community so I’m hoping we can raise a little money for them in the process.”

John moved into Withywood, an extra care scheme for the over 55s run by The Wrekin Housing Group, after Jean passed away.

John added:

“Everyone here has been really supportive. Withywood is my home now and there’s a real community spirit here. I know having all the staff and residents cheering me on will help me massively.”

John aims to kick-off the challenge on March 21.

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18th March 2022