Energetic housing boss in a lather for charity

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A housing group boss is in a right lather as he prepares for his first ever marathon in aid of charity.

Andrew Bowden, 59, the chief executive of Cartrefi Conwy, has adopted a two-pronged approach to his campaign to raise money for the NSPCC.

In addition to taking part in next year’s London Marathon, he’s embarked on a tour of all the other housing associations in North Wales where he’s washing cars in return for a donation.

His first port of call was Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd and he’s also been to the headquarters of Clwyd Alyn on St Asaph Business Park.

Next up are Grŵp Cynefin, Wales and West Housing Association and North Wales Housing, before completing the car wash campaign at Cartrefi Conwy HQ in Abergele.

He’s also set up a JustGiving page for people to sponsor him for the marathon next April when he will be accompanied on the 26-mile run by his two sons, Jonathan, 32, and Marcus, 30.

Team Bowden have set an overall target of £6,600 for the NSPCC

Andrew’s training regime was temporarily derailed when he suffered ligament damage in his right knee, which put him out of action for about a month but he’s now back on track.

Andrew said: “I really want to raise the maximum amount of money for the NSPCC which I think is a fantastic children’s charity.

“They do brilliant work, particularly in North Wales at their offices in Prestatyn where ChildLine is based.

“There is an increasing number of vulnerable children and young people and I am passionate about providing a network of support for them.

“While I do quite a bit of walking, I am not one of life’s natural runners and this will be my first ever marathon so it is a huge personal challenge.

“But I am doing it with my two sons who are both quite athletic. I don’t expect them to be held back by me and I’m certainly not going to make the winner’s podium but I am hoping to complete the marathon in around four to four and a half hours.

“In the meantime, I’ve started the car wash tour which is going well  – it’s hard work and involves a great deal of elbow grease  but I’m enjoying it.”

Among those having his car washed at Clwyd Alyn was ex-colleague Trevor Henderson, their executive director of business change programmes.

He said: “Andrew and I worked together at Clwyd Alyn back in the day but I must confess I didn’t detect that he was a talented car washer or a marathon runner for that matter.

“But it was good to have my car cleaned and it is now sparkling which saves me doing it myself this weekend.”

Andrew’s son, Jonathan, a former Welsh cruiserweight boxing champion, is proud of his dad for taking on the challenge.

He said: “My dad is very dedicated in his efforts to get fit and I’m pretty sure he will complete the marathon.

“He’s a very determined character and when he puts his mind to things more often than not he does them.

“It’s great that we’re all doing it together as it will make the London Marathon an even more special occasion for us.”

Anybody wishing to make a donation can do so via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teambowden