A consultant who ran 31k every week for four weeks has raised over £3000 to help in the humanitarian crisis in war-torn Ukraine.
Former Strathaven Academy pupil, James Frame, 38, worked in the country’s capital, Kyiv, just weeks before Russian president Vladamir Putin ordered his troops to invade last month.
Millions have now fled the country or are displaced with their homes reduced to rubble and lives shattered.
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Dad-of-one James works as a global warranty development consultant visiting BMW importers.
He decided to take on the 31k-a-week challenge – which symbolizes Ukraine’s 31 years of independence – to raise vital funds for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal organized by the British Red Cross.
James completed 96 laps of his chosen circuit, ran 124km and climbed 2777 meters in the gruelling feat.
The cash raised by James will either supply 58 families with emergency food and water for one month, 291 families with blankets or supply 29 field medics with the necessary equipment to help save lives, with aid going into Ukraine itself.
He told Lanarkshire Live: “I worked in Ukraine in December and witnessed Russian troops build up on the border.
“No one really knew what was coming, although everyone was aware of the possibilities.
“I made friends with lovely people in the beautiful city of Kyiv.
“It has been just devastating and heart breaking watching the war unfold and I knew I had to help right from the start.
“I need to thank everyone for their support and I never expected to raise as much as I did – £3250 with more coming in – and to get so many messages of support as I did during the four weeks. I’m truly grateful.
“The last week of the challenge was very, very difficult and I certainly have very sore legs but remembering why I was doing it, the people I was doing it for and the support is what got me through.
“I still try and message some of the people I met while working in Kyiv and I get the odd message back, which is understandable in the chaos. I just want to make sure, if I can, that they are OK.
“One of the centers operated by BMW has been completely destroyed by a Russian attack – when I looked at a video of the scene it was just totally gone. Thankfully no one was there at the time.”
James, who now lives in Hamilton with wife Heather, and baby son Harrison, added: “Every penny raised will make a difference and I would urge people to continue to support the people of Ukraine through this horrendous, completely unnecessary war and beyond.
“Even when it ends they will need our help and support for years to come in rebuilding their beautiful country.”
More than ten million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees.
And the UN say there has a total of 1151 civilian deaths during Russia’s military attack on Ukraine. Of them, 103 were children.
Furthermore, 1824 people were reported to have been injured. However, officials warn that the real numbers could be higher.
As well as the four million who have left for neighboring countries, another estimated 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.
The latest round of peace talks has provided some cause for optimism after Russia said it would “drastically cut” its military activity around Kyiv and Chernihiv.
But Western and Ukrainian officials have remained skeptical of this, and Ukraine has said that bombardments continued in Chernihiv.
James’ JustGiving fundraising page will be open until Sunday if anyone still wants to donate to the Red Cross appeal.
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