Chris’s run will help to rebuild city scouts HQ

Chris Bowen
Chris Bowen
Former Great British Bake Off contestant Enwezor Nzegwu takes part in a 24-hour treadmill relay at Portsmouth University Gym to raise money for cystic fibrosis. Fellow participant Dannii Hutchins gives support. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (180224-1)

Bake-Off star organises 24-hour charity run at University of Portsmouth

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IT leaks, the wood is rotten and the metal frames are rusty – but Chris Bowen has pledged himself to a ‘marathon’ cause to help rebuild his beloved scout hut.

Chris, scout leader for 64th Portsmouth Scouts group, has took it upon himself to raise the funds needed to erect a new home for his 80 scout members at St. Swithen’s Church, Waverley Road, Southsea.

Three years ago Chris decided new headquarters were needed after the existing hut fell into disrepair.

It was estimated the scout group needed to raise £60,000 in order to build a new one at the site.

Now Chris, 45, from Londesborough Road, Southsea, hopes he can raise £2,000 towards the cause when he takes part in the 10-mile Bupa Great South Race on October 30.

Chris, a scout leader of 25 years, will join thousands of other runners who are set to pound the streets of Portsmouth.

Participants will start at Southsea’s seafront and will take in the sights of Portsmouth Cathedral, Gunwharf’s Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

He said: ‘Taking part in this race means so much to me because I want to make a difference to the future of the scouts here.

‘Being part of the scouts is so much fun. What makes it for me is the friends I’ve made, the adventures and the camping.’

‘If we weren’t able to build a new hut then we would have to rent somewhere.

‘The teenagers wouldn’t have anywhere to call their own.’

The 64th Portsmouth Scouts group have already raised £27,000 towards their target.

In May, Chris and another scout leader, Mike Wright, 40, pulled in £700 after they took part in a dragon boat race, on North Harbour.

Scouts from the group have also dug deep and raised £1,000 by donating smartie tubes with lose change.

Chris said: ‘It would be awkward for people if we had to move out of Southsea so I want to do everything I can to make sure we can build a new home.’

The Hampshire County Council social worker is no stranger to the challenges of the Great South Run.

It will be the third year Chris has raced – and this time around he has upped his training regime.

He said: ‘I’ve been running three times a week, mainly from home to the seafront and then doing long stretches from there.

‘I’m definitely up for the challenge again. I love the sense of achievement and I want to improve on my time from last year.’