Student’s 6,000 mile adventure in aid of charity

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Two intrepid students from Belper are aiming to raise £10,000 for a mental health charity by hitch-hiking to India.

Josh Jones, 22, and his lifelong friend Charlie Watson, 21, will take on the 6,000-mile journey over four months.

The pair, who will survive on a £5 a day budget plan to sell their art work, short stories, and poetry on route, as well as fund their journey by busking.

Their route will take them through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran,Afghanistan and Pakistan before arriving in India.

Both men are already experienced charity workers and adventurers, having raised £1,700 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support back in 2010 - walking 1,113 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

They said that the inspiration for their new challenge came after a jam session with their reggae band, Ashes and Diamonds.

Charlie said: “I have always enjoyed the freedom of the road and the excitement of exploration. To wake up in a different place each morning and have no idea who I will meet and what challenges I will face is such a buzz.”

The men will be unsupported on the adventure and will carry approximately 20kg each –including camping equipment, filming equipment, musical instruments, art and journal pads as well as clothes and basic food supplies.

Josh said: “The challenge will be far from easy, yet I know from previous experience that people go out of their way to help others, especially when a charitable cause is involved.

“The only danger will be contemplating giving up, but if we think positively, seize every moment and trust ourselves, that will never become a problem.”

Josh and Charlie have set up a charity page at www.justgiving.com/thumbtoindia wheredonations can be made.

All money raised will be donated to the mental health charity, Mind.Charity events will be held to raise awareness and gather donations. Charlie, whorepresents Belper Rugby club, is arranging a summer sports day event, and Josh is arranging a charity poetry performance.