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Adventuring fundraiser receives honorary award

Jamie McDonald, who has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for childrens’ charities through incredible feats of endurance, has received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Gloucestershire.

Born in Gloucester, Jamie suffered from syringomyelia, a rare spinal condition, and spent a lot of his childhood in hospital. After buying a second-hand bike in 2012 he cycled 14,000 miles from Bangkok to Gloucester, and broke the Guinness world Record for marathon static cycling just two days after arriving home.

In February 2014, he became the first person to run 5,000 miles from coast to coast in Canada and raised more than £250,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Pied Piper appeal, which benefits thousands of county schoolchildren attending or staying in hospital.

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston, who presented his award at The Centaur in Cheltenham, during the University’s final graduation ceremony of the year, said: “It is for Jamie’s outstanding fundraising activities, and his links with the University, that we are honouring him today.”

Jamie has used the sports science facilities at the University to see how his body and his mental and physical fitness have withstood the challenges he has undertaken.

Jamie said: “I can’t believe I’ve received this award, but it’s really nice to be recognised for fulfilling a passion, and I hope this gives me a chance to reach out and make a bigger difference.”

Every year, the University confers honorary awards on distinguished individuals who have made an outstanding contribution locally, nationally or internationally or who have supported the University in some way.

They join around 2,000 graduating students at ceremonies in Cheltenham and Gloucester.