BURNING hay bales and freezing swamps did not stop 25 year old architecture student James Brown from fundraising in memory of his father from Droitwich.

James put himself to the test in the Tough Mudder challenge – a 12 mile course interspersed with 28 gruelling obstacles.

His father, Graham Brown, had lived on his canal boat and motor boats for the last five years and was cared for by St Richard’s Hospice before he died of cancer last year, aged 67.

James, who lives in Somerset with his girlfriend Emma, said: “Dad had great support from talking to St Richard’s staff and other people with similar conditions. The £700 I raised is going to an incredibly worthy cause at St Richard’s, and it was a great honour to run in memory of my father, a keen marathon runner before illness and age made it too much to continue. I've seen the results of their hard work first hand - and I know that every donation makes an active and notable impact to the people they support.”

He added: “The Tough Mudder event was incredible. Certainly, the most difficult physical challenge of my life, but also the most exhilarating. The whole day was underpinned with the ethos of championing team work and camaraderie; supporting each other to get through the challenges and overcome fears and struggles together.”

“It took a lot of pain, sweat and jelly babies to keep us going, but in just over three hours we successfully conquered the 12 miles and 28 obstacles which ranged from challenging to hellish. Examples included crawling under barbed wire face down through nettles, swimming through a shipping container filled with ice cubes, getting through a mile-long, shoulder deep bog, jumping from a two storey platform into a freezing river and crawling under a trellis of cables charged with 10,000 volt shocks.”

James completed the challenge with five friends all raising funds for different charities.

St Richard’s Director of Fundraising Tricia Cavell said: “Wow, James really put himself through a tough challenge to raise funds. We are full of admiration and very grateful for all the money he raised in memory of his father.”

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and supports their families. For more information visit strichards.org.uk