Suffolk man continues fundraising challenge for abuse charity

Ashley Watts has dyed his hair blue to be more recognisable in his 20 challenges. Picture: SONYA DUN

Ashley Watts is continuing his fundraising for Survivors in Transition - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A Suffolk man who wanted to raise money for survivors of abuse after someone he knew was convicted of possessing indecent images is continuing his Covid-hit fundraising challenge. 

Ashley Watts, 37, said the shock of finding out what the person had done in 2018 was "really hard to deal with". 

The offender was jailed and was placed on the sex offenders' register for 10 years. 

Mr Watts, from Chelmondiston, underwent counselling following the person's conviction and said he wanted to do something to help survivors. 

He decided to help Ipswich-based Survivors in Transition - which supports men and women who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood.

"I guess one thing I'd never considered is the offender's side of things, their family and their friends," he said. 

"But being on that side of it was a weird place to be because you get associated guilt. Even though it's nothing to do with me at all, that feeling you get is horrible. 

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"After counselling, I felt I needed to do more, not to make up for what they've done, but to do something and that's when I found Survivors in Transition." 

Mr Watts initially planned to take on 20 gruelling fitness challenges during 2020 for the charity. 

Ashley Watts is completing a year of sporting challenges to raise money for Survivors in Transition.

Mr Watts has raised nearly £3,000 for Survivors in Transition - Credit: Sonya Duncan

But after completing six events by March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic meant he was not able to take on any further events last year. 

However, Mr Watts, who openly admits he was not in best shape prior to starting the challenge, continued his training throughout lockdown and started again in April this year. 

He has now completed 24 challenges overall and is planning five more before the end of the year. 

Mr Watts, who also started his own business called Trade Supply Drop during lockdown, added: "Most recently this weekend, I've done the Chelmsford marathon and I've done a lot of obstacle races of various different distances, 100-mile bike rides, a whole load of different things. 

"I'm planning to end the year doing an event in Barrow, near Bury, which is three marathons in three days, which will be my biggest challenge and a really good way to end the year."

Mr Watts has currently raised nearly £3,000 for Survivors in Transition and anyone wishing to donate can visit his fundraising page here

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