FOR most of us, tackling one marathon would be enough.

But Southampton man John Sennett is planning on taking part in 21 in as many days next year.

And this marathon effort is just one challenge in 11 different undertakings for as many charities that John is planning for next year, in a bid to raise £100,000.

John’s year of fundraising will get under way with the huge task of walking 650 miles from Southampton to Aberdeen in 30 days.

He then plans to take on the ten Peaks Challenge before tackling 21 marathons in a wheelchair, lifting a total of 100,000kg in a series of workouts and attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the greatest distance covered by a mountain bike in a week.

He has yet to finalise the details of his further challenges, but one is set to involve swimming, as the 25-year-old from Upper Shirley has been working to overcome his lifelong fear of swimming.

John is currently unemployed and has been volunteering at a variety of organisations, some of which he now hopes to raise funds for.

He says he came up with the idea of the challenge as he felt bored and needed to do something different.

All of the charities which he is fundraising for have a personal connection to him, from Pavilion on the Park, in Eastleigh, which is the first place he volunteered, to anti-bullying and mental health charities.

As well as raising money for charities that are close to his heart, John wanted to use the year to share difficulties he has experienced and encourage others to open up with their own stories.

“I want to help people to be open with their own stories and to help people to see how they can use their own difficult experiences, whether that’s something like bullying or an illness, to help others.

“Each of the challenges I’m planning for next year is linked to a difficult experience that I’ve had.

John says he went through a very difficult period in his teens.

His grandmother, to whom he was very close, died, his mum was battling breast cancer and his sister was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and had a stroke, which left her in a wheelchair for some time.

At the same time, he became a victim of bullying.

“I found it really tough,” he says.

“I was afraid to go to school and my attendance dropped right off to 40 percent. I just used to hide at home and play video games.

“It got to the point that life was so difficult that I felt suicidal.”

One of the things that got John through the difficult times was his love of sport.

Whenever things got tough, he would go and kick a football around.

“I had a real love of football,” he says.

“I was supposed to go to America on a scholarship but unfortunately I got injured and I wasn’t able to do it. That was what all my focus had been on and I didn’t have a plan B.

“I just drifted from job to job, not knowing what to do. That was when I started volunteering and found something I loved.

“Initially, I felt quite negative about volunteering. I couldn’t see what was in it for me. But then I went to Pavilion on the Park in Eastleigh, and I found the passion,” he says.

“What started as one hour of volunteering grew to three-and-a-half-thousand hours!

“I’ve helped at all sorts of things, including sporting event, and even organised setting the rounders world record.”

John said he is looking forward to embarking on his year of challenges.

“I’m excited, but obviously nervous,” he said.

“It’s a big year ahead, but the aim to help as many people as possible is what’s driving me forward.

“My 650 mile walk in January will be a test, as it’s the start. The 21 marathons in 21 days in a wheelchair will also be a challenge. I’m not a wheelchair user, so it’ll be a complete shock to the system.”

He is preparing for the challenges by getting in as much exercise as possible.

“I’m moving as much as I can, going to the gym, the pool, and taking long walks. I’m keeping myself on the go to get my body used to long distances.

“I’m feeling really good at the minute, but it’ll be my mental strength that’ll help me to the end.

“I’m looking forward to all of the challenges,” he added.

“I wanted to make sure when planning them, that I was going to enjoy them all.”

To follow John’s progress and find out how to donate to the challenges once the details are finalised, you can follow him on Twitter, @thestoryofJS, or his blog:

You can donate to his first challenge at: