Charity champion with cerebral palsy pushes himself to the limit in seven-day challenge for local food banks

A South Shields champion has been hailed a ‘hero’ after raising vital funds for local food banks.

Twenty three-year-old James Hutton, who has athetoid cerebral palsy, took on the 100-rep challenge to complete a different physical activity – in a different coloured T-shirt - each day over the course of a week.

James is non-verbal and uses British Sign Language to communicate, but it was his own idea to support his local food bank “to help children with no food”.

He has pushed himself to the limit, bouncing, marching, dancing and performing sit-ups, push-ups and step-ups to raise much needed funds for the Key 2 Life food bank facility at Boldon Lane Library.

James Hutton has raised hundreds for local food banks through his lockdown challenge. Photo: Debbie Hutton

“James had been in lockdown for nine weeks and was starting to struggle with aches and cramps in his legs, so we decided to devise a week’s plan to keep him motivated and moving,” said mum Debbie Hutton.

“Initially this was just a week of activities to pass the time and then people started to ask if they could sponsor him and it just escalated.”

Thanks to the support of generous family, friends, neighbours and his dad Colin’s colleagues at Lookers Ford in South Shields, he has raised £1,480.

The total far exceeded the family’s expectations and will be split between the Key 2 Life food bank and The Salvation Army food bank in Southwick.

James took on a different activity each day for seven days. Photo: Debbie Hutton.

James is now looking forwarded to being invited for a tour of the food bank facility once the pandemic has ended.

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Jo Benham Brown, business and community development manager at Key 2 Life said: “James is an inspiring example to us all. This is a fantastic achievement and we really cannot thank him enough. Key 2 Life is the longest running food bank in South Tyneside and over the last few months, we have seen unprecedented demand for our services.

“With referrals up 300% on the same period last year, it is a struggle to keep pace with demand and we are so very grateful for the support we have received from the public, both in terms of donations, food and financial, and all those who fundraise on our behalf.”

James pushed himself to the limit. Photo: Debbie Hutton

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