No stopping James in his bid to give up alcohol

Beer is off the menu for 40-year-old James Hughes for the whole year
Beer is off the menu for 40-year-old James Hughes for the whole year

Stoptober turned into Dry January – and now there is no stopping James Hughes in his determination to give up alcohol for the whole year.

The 40-year-old Worthing man is hoping to raise £1,825, roughly the equivalent of the cost of a pint of beer a day, for St Barnabas House hospice.

James said: “I have decided to extend my Dry January to the whole of 2018, a huge challenge I am taking on in order to raise money for charity, that’s right not a single drink all year even on my birthday.

“If I am out and am offered a drink, I will be asking for the equivalent of the price of a drink to be donated instead.”

James, who works for Legal & General in Hove and sits on the mature savings charity committee, first decided to give up alcohol for Stoptober in October last year, then decided to continue until Christmas.

He said: “I turned 40 last year, so I decided I wanted to do something to lose weight and improve my health generally, so I decided to quit alcohol for Stoptober.

“Once it got to the end of the month, I thought instead of just rushing out to the pub, I’d carry on and I haven’t had a drink since. I didn’t even have a drink on Christmas Day.”

Once he had made it through the festive season without beer, James decided to do Dry January with his colleagues.

The mature savings division at Legal & General supported employees by promoting the campaign internally and giving them a bottle of Belvoir Presse each.

“Then during a charity committee meeting at work at Legal & General, in a bit of a spur of the moment decision, I decided to give up all year to raise money for St Barnabas,” James added.

“Now it’s more official, rather than just an idea, I’m even more determined to achieve it.”

The mature savings team made St Barnabas House its charity of the year and raised more than £18,000 for the charity last year.

Wendy Bardsley, hospice community fundraising manager, said: “We have been so lucky to be supported by Legal & General, they have really done an amazing job. Not only have they raised lots of money for local hospice care but they have made it great fun, too.

“James has taken it to another level though, a whole year alcohol free. Good luck James and thank you to everyone at Legal & General.”

Visit the JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dry-2018 to make a donation.