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Thatcham teenager completes vegan charity Viva! 1,000-mile challenge with marathon effort



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A TEENAGER from Ashmore Green has completed a 1,000-mile charity challenge by running a marathon on one of the hottest days of the year.

Henry Read-Denness set himself the goal of walking or running 1,000 in six months back in February.

Henry, now 15, decided to raise funds and awareness for Viva!, a vegan campaigning charity specialising in undercover investigations and high-profile animal campaigns.

Henry Read-Denness completed his 1,000-mile challenge at the Acland Hall in Cold Ash, receiving gifts and a trophy from Viva! (49439156)
Henry Read-Denness completed his 1,000-mile challenge at the Acland Hall in Cold Ash, receiving gifts and a trophy from Viva! (49439156)

Henry completed his challenge a month early on July 17 by running a marathon, finishing at the Acland Memorial Hall in Cold Ash.

He said: "It went all right. It was quite tiring, especially in the heat. The first 13 miles were fine but as I was getting to the last 10 miles I started to struggle because of the heat."

Henry, who attends Trinity School in Newbury, went from vegetarian to vegan a year-and-a-half ago.

Henry Read-Denness completed his 1,000-mile challenge at the Acland Hall in Cold Ash, receiving gifts and a trophy from Viva! local contacts Mike Busby and Jess Nunn
Henry Read-Denness completed his 1,000-mile challenge at the Acland Hall in Cold Ash, receiving gifts and a trophy from Viva! local contacts Mike Busby and Jess Nunn

He said that he chose Viva! as he was "quite passionate about the animals and I don't like the way that they are treated in the UK at the moment".

He added that the charity had helped his commitment by showing the impact of veganism on health, environment and animals.

Henry has also been fasting between 9am and 5pm once a week "to demonstrate the long period of time animals goes without food and water when taken to the slaughterhouse".

He has exceeded his £650 target, raising £900 for the charity.

Henry Read-Denness receives gifts from Viva! local contact Mike Busby
Henry Read-Denness receives gifts from Viva! local contact Mike Busby

Viva! representatives congratulated Henry at the Acland Hall finish line and presented him with gifts and a Viva! Hero trophy.

Henry received received T-shirts, a hooded jacket and a vegan cook book from the charity.

He said: "I felt very honoured that I was recognised by them and I was very pleased for the gifts and support, it was a great inspiration."

Henry Read-Denness completed his 1,000-mile challenge at the Acland Hall in Cold Ash
Henry Read-Denness completed his 1,000-mile challenge at the Acland Hall in Cold Ash

Although Henry said his 1,000-mile challenge had been quite easy, usually covering around six to seven miles a day walking to and from school, it had taken a toll on his shoes – destroying his first pair of school shoes and his trainers.

Henry's mother Sarah Wytrykowski said: "It's unbelievable the dedication that's required to complete this. I'm immensely proud."

Viva! founder and director Juliet Gellatley said: "Henry is an inspiring young man. Walking 1,000 miles over six months is a truly incredible feat.

"I’m so impressed by his dedication and commitment to advocating for veganism. Viva! is very grateful for all of his hard work and for raising funds for us."

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/henry-read1



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