Ollie Mason is on a water run, 1000 Miles, 20 Litres of water and 60 Days.

Written by Joanne Mascall

What if this was your child?

Ollie Mason, a young fundraiser aged 22, will set on a huge journey walking across the UK, carrying a 20-litre jerry can full of water with no aid or apparatus.

 All to raise money and awareness for thousands of communities in developing countries who have to carry water like this every day of their lives.

Ollie, from Stoke-on-Trent, has a big vision in mind by hoping to raise awareness for worldwide water poverty whilst raising money for three charities, Water for Africa, Breakthrough Foundation and Oxfam, who will all benefit as the sponsorships and proceeds will be split between them.

Ollie has dedicated his time to preparing for this journey, which will begin on the 2 July 2012, where he will walk for 60 days across the UK, starting from John o’Groats and finishing in Lands End. This ultimate challenge has changed Ollie’s life as he devotes his days preparing for the 1000-mile walk, which will be physically and mentally demanding.

Ollie said: “I have been training for over a year now and I constantly have to step up my training to a higher level, it is crazy as I walk with about 20kilos of weight on my back. People ask me literally every day, why am I doing this and it is not because I like walking in fact I hate it.

“I believe that by doing this I will be able to not only raise money but create awareness of the living conditions of far too many people in the world. I want people to be involved in what I am doing, even if it is just supporting me by walking by my side for a few hours or even days, I need the encouragement of the nation.”

Ollie is inviting people to join him along his journey and experience it for themselves, as it is going to be not only a physical test for him to combat, but also a strenuous mental challenge. He is encouraging people of all ages to either brave the 60 days or join in with one of the city events, which are being planned so that individuals, groups, schools and other charities can join Ollie in shorter 2-5km walk (The average distance a person has to walk on a daily basis in Africa to get water).

Ollie’s life has always been devoted to charity work, as he talks of what got him started on the Water Challenge, he said:  “In the middle of 2009 I wanted to do something, so I went to volunteer in Africa, but it was not as easy or as cheap as i had expected, so that went out the window.

However, I still wanted to help, with something. So one day on Facebook on my right hand side advert bar I saw a Oxfam Ad, and it was to do with the Oxfam Music festivals, I clicked it signed up and enrolled my best Friend Ryan Garnish in to having a go at it, and that we did. It was great, we planned and planned for over 6 months and held it at a big venue in Chester and dragged over 2000 people from the surrounding areas to it. It was great and after that I knew I was going to do my walk but i didn’t have the guts to tell anyone, so i went about choosing Charities on the sly until eventually biting the bullet and telling the world my big plan.”

Ollie is determined to make a difference to the lives of those who are subject to this way of living and plans to make a huge impact within the UK, he added:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Although I may be walking a thousand miles, which will be my first step to making a difference, this is not going to be the last and only time I do something eccentric to try and make a difference, and I have nine hundred and ninety nine more things to do after this.”

The water run challenge will take place during the 2012 Olympic Games, for Ollie this will be a truly Olympian feat, as he continues to train as hard as any athlete does. The Planning is underway, for him and his team, as they spend all their time drawing people’s attention to the walk and will not stop until they have achieved nationwide media coverage.

Ollie needs all the support he can get.

 Join him on  twitter

Visit the Water Run website for more details on how you can get involved and make a donation.

If you want more information on the charities, Ollie is fundraising for ,check out their websites:
Water For Africa:                      Oxfam                     Breakthrough Foundation

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