Photo: Deepak and Usha Myanger
A Maidstone newsagent has raised enough funds from running marathons to help Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance save eight lives.
Each call-out of the charity helicopter costs about £2,500 so the £20,000 raised by News Rack and Grove Green Post Office owner Deepak Myanger will fund eight potentially life-saving missions.
Deepak, a 2010 Pride of Maidstone winner, has been running half marathons for the air ambulance for 10 year and he and his wife Usha have run the Grove Green post office for 24 years – almost as long as the charity has been in operation.
He said: “It’s my customers and my wife who get all the credit for this, I just do the running. Every year they ask when I’m running for the air ambulance and look forward to sponsoring me.
“It is a vitally important charity and one which my customers don’t hesitate at all in donating for. I’m quite staggered that they give so generously.
“My wife won’t let anyone leave the shop without making a donation and that is why the amount is so high. I’m humbled to have helped raise so much.”
Deepak, 57, has completed 25 half marathons locally in Maidstone, Headcorn, Paddock Wood but also abroad in Prague, Budapest, Madrid, Dublin, Brussels, Switzerland and Cannes.
He added: “I like running and I go out three times a week whether I do it for charity or just to keep fit. My best half marathon was Maidstone three years ago when I recorded my fastest time. My worst was also the Maidstone last year when it rained non-stop.”
The father-of-one is planning to carry on running and raising more funds for the air ambulance which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Air Ambulance Director of Income Generation Lynne Harris said: “We are enormously grateful to Deepak, his wife and all their customers for raising such a phenomenal sum, and for their continued support which is much valued.”