Virtual expeditions are a breath of fresh air

Public Services Lecturer, John Robson, has been entertaining his followers with a series of expeditions from his back garden using his 'sat phone'.

John is in remission with Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) which is an auto immune condition, so he has been labelled as in the ‘at risk’ category. In addition to teaching public services students and fire fighter apprentices at New College Durham, John is a high-altitude mountaineer and over the years his team have climbed five of the world’s seven continental summits, as well as many other summits. Not only has John’s team self-funded all their expeditions but they have donated £150,000 to local children’s charities.

John has shared some fantastic photos from previous expeditions and has provided some much-needed amusement for those missing the great outdoors.

John Robson said: “I have truly enjoyed sharing my mini adventures. I feel like they are a great way of giving a different perspective.”

John is keeping safe, taking care and remaining vigilant.  He is also running a phenomenal 25-30 miles per week, in barefoot vibrams!

He said: “I’d ran 22 marathons before I was told I’d never run again, including Great North Runs, London Marathons, New York Marathons and Parkrunathons. I am back to running half marathons with an added bit of excitement, such as in full fire kit and breathing apparatus. I’ve completed over 260 Saturday morning park runs – the last one before lockdown I ran the whole 5K backwards around Durham. I just like something different, a new challenge.”

Claire Kelly, Curriculum Manager, commented: “John has been working at the College for a number of years now. He has worked closely with my team and the College’s Fire Apprentices since the College went into lockdown and his blog has brought a smile to the team during these difficult times.”

As the North East coordinator, John has continued to support his PMRGCAuk charity over the lockdown period. He has also offered to support Sunningdale School (SEN), where he is a school governor, and he is teaching New College Durham students and apprentices remotely from home.