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James’s press-up challenge raises over £8,500 as a ‘thank you’ to RNLI

James Cope, an Associate Director at leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK, has raised over £8,500 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) by doing in total over half a million press-ups in a long running charity challenge which saw him clocking up to 1,000 press-ups a day.

James, who works in the Guildford office of RSM, first started the challenge when lockdown kicked in in March 2020 as a means of keeping both physically and mentally fit. Each day he added a further press-up to his daily challenge.

Once he reached day 100, being 100 press-ups a day, he decided to dedicate the challenge as a charity fundraiser as a “thank you” to the RNLI who saved him and his father when they got into trouble on a boat in Devon some 14 years ago.

In just over two and a half years, he has finally reached his target of day 1,000, which takes him to a cumulative total of 500,500 press-ups and having lost over four stone in weight in the process. But the fundraising hasn’t been without its challenges as James caught Covid three times and had the stress of managing a number of ailments including a torn bicep, abdominals and wrist injuries.

He achieved his goal earlier this month when, along with some RNLI volunteers and staff, James pushed himself to do the final 1,000 press-ups at Chiswick Lifeboat Station on the banks of the River Thames.

James Cope said: ‘It’s been an incredible challenge, and not one that I am ever likely to repeat! The feeling of having now reached day 1,000 is a huge relief and reminds me of when the brave volunteer crew of the Salcombe RNLI came to the aid of my father and I. It was fantastic to have the support of the RNLI volunteers today, along with my family and friends to cheer me on in my final push!

The need to dig deep and push through the numerous barriers over the years, both mental and physical, has been worth it to support the RNLI who show such courage in the face of adversity to help others get out of trouble at sea. This is my ‘thank you’ to them.’

RNLI Fundraising Director Jayne George said: ‘The ingenuity of our supporters never ceases to amaze me, and this is a truly astonishing feat. Fundraisers like James are the lifeblood of the RNLI – the money they raise powers our rescues on beaches and from lifeboat stations.

‘The commitment that James has shown through this challenge is so inspiring and I’d like to thank him for his commitment to our vision to save every one.’


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