Staff at the Bedford headquarters of Autoglass will be tracking the progress of colleague Nigel Doggett this week as he embarks on the gruelling Marathon des Sables with the aim of raising over £130,000 for Hft, a national charity for people with learning disabilities.
The Marathon des Sables involves running six marathons over six days in the Sahara desert in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. The total distance covered is 251km (156 miles). Participants have to carry their own provisions, sleeping gear, medical supplies and essentials for the week. Only water is provided. Dehydration, blisters, swollen feet, and being rounded up by the camel sweepers are just some of the challenges competitors face.
Nigel, who has the support of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, also a former Marathon des Sables competitor, said: “I have set myself a challenging target of £130,000 which is helped enormously by the offer of £50k matched funding from Forbes Charitable Foundation. All of the money raised will go to the Hft Personalised Technology programme which really does achieve the very best outcomes for people by enabling them to live as independently and safely as possible.”
His tough training regime has included early morning runs with his spaniel, Luna, and Bikram yoga to help prepare his body for running in the ferocious desert heat. A week before the event he plans heat chamber sessions to acclimatise. But it’s not all been plain sailing: a recent bout of heatstroke, following a business trip, has given him a taste of the very real dangers which face him in the Sahara desert.
Hft is a recognised leader in using personalised technology (also known as assistive technology) to support people with learning disabilities to live more independently and safely.
Hft currently supports more than 2,500 people across the country including 78 people in Bedfordshire. This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities. Nigel has been a Trustee of HfT for more than three years and his brother Nick receives its support.
To donate please go to https://www.justgiving.com/nigel-doggett1
To find out more about Hft, or to find out how you can get involved, please go online to www.hft.org.uk.