James Winters raised £5,600 for the SMILE (Support Mission in Liverpool Education) Project and Football for Change after a gruelling 500km winter challenge.
James, from Bootle, ran 5km for 100 consecutive days, starting in September and finishing on Christmas Eve. The money raised will be distributed to help disadvantaged children and families in Liverpool.
Winters will split the funds raised between the SMILE Project, of which he is chairman, and Football for Change, the social mobility charity launched by Jamie Carragher, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Coady in 2021.
Liverpool legend Carragher joined James, a Football for Change ambassador, on a 5km run in December around Crosby, and praised the North West business leader for his philanthropic efforts.
Sky Sports pundit and Football for Change chairman Carragher said at the time:
“It really is brilliant what James is doing and I’m proud to have joined him for a run – even if it was freezing!
“James is a Bootle lad who is doing well for himself but he has not forgotten his roots and wants to give back to those less fortunate whenever he can.
“It is amazing to have an ambassador like James who represents everything Football for Change stands for.”
James – who ran the equivalent of over 11 marathons – was joined by family and friends during the challenge, while he continued to manage M-Tech, his electrical engineering firm, and The Phoenix Hotel chain, which he owns alongside business partner Rob Edwards as part of the Edwards Winters Developments umbrella.
Last Christmas, James personally chauffeured ten of the neediest families in Liverpool to his Phoenix Hotel, based in Kirkdale, offering a free room for the night and a hot meal before having Father Christmas deliver toys to each child.
Upon completing the challenge, Winters said:
“It was challenging, as I expected, but it reminded me that families in poverty cannot decide to take a night off.
“Once you’re out running, you remember why you are doing it and the mission behind both the SMILE Project and Football for Change.
“With rising energy bills and the cost of living crisis, it is more important than ever to help families who are struggling, and this will be our priority with the money raised over the next several months.
“We will be making a difference to as many lives as possible and ensuring everyone has a happy, healthy and positive start to the New Year.”