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30 marathons to celebrate 30 years of supporting Farm Africa

07 February 2017

 30 marathons to celebrate 30 years of supporting Farm Africa

Sixty-three-year-old Sussex sheep farmer Tim Jury began running marathons for Farm Africa back in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since.

He has already run four marathons this year.

Coming up is the Steyning Stinger, the Thames Meander, the Hastings Half Marathon and the Stockholm Marathon, which he plans to run with his son who lives there. For the London Marathon he plans to make things even harder for himself by running dressed as a goat.

Tim explains the significance of the goat outfit.

“This will be my 30th year of supporting the work of Farm Africa and the goat outfit is to highlight the amazing work the charity does supporting female farmers in Ethiopia. 

In two years they have distributed almost 2,000 female goats to 500 women farmers and those women have since passed on over 1,000 goats to other women in the community once their animals had bred. The goats have a completely life-changing effect on these women farmers who are often struggling to bring up children on their own. Goats are bringing economic independence and hope back in their lives.”

Tim has raised an incredible amount of money for Farm Africa over the years. He has organised annual barn dances, carol singing in his barn and pony treks across exclusive routes in the Sussex countryside. He has cycled 75 miles from Hastings to London and of course has run a range of marathons, including the Great Ethiopia Run and the Maasai Mara half marathon.

To celebrate his 60th birthday in 2013 he ran the London Marathon as a chicken, so a goat in 2017 could be seen as a step up!

It was after watching a harrowing series of reports by the BBC’s Michael Buerke on the 1984 Ethiopian famine that Tim decided he had to do whatever he could to help tackle hunger in eastern Africa.

Years later, explaining his decades-long commitment to supporting smallholder farmers struggling to grow enough food for their families and communities in some of the most challenging conditions on earth, Tim commented:

“They are as important as anyone living next door and it is an absolute tragedy that they have been neglected. It is not aid they lack, but the basic resources to feed themselves.”

He has seen with his own eyes the life-changing effect of Farm Africa’s work during a visit he made to one of the charity’s projects in Ethiopia:

“What I saw on the ground [in Ethiopia] it wasn’t just the gratitude that was awe-inspiring, but seeing the dignity of those people being able to look after themselves thanks to Farm Africa’s work helping them to grow food more effectively.”

You can sponsor Tim’s inspirational efforts here.

Find out more about taking part in running and cycling events for Farm Africa.