Teenage runner’s 50 miles to feed 50 vulnerable in Torbay

Tyla Kotze hopes to run 50 miles to help feed 50 people

Tyla Kotze hopes to run 50 miles to help feed 50 people - Credit: Archant

When people she knew began to struggle for food,18-year-old Tyla Kotze knew she had to do something to help.

The resourceful South Devon College student came up with a plan to raise money for the Torbay Food Alliance by running and hiking 50 miles in four weeks.

She started two weeks ago with the intention of helping 50 people to eat for a day – three meals each at a total cost of £250.

Tyla, who lives in Paignton, is doing something she doesn't enjoy: 'I knew I had to challenge myself and so I chose running.

'I honestly don't think enough people of my age have done as much as they could during this crisis but I feel that if you can help, then why wouldn't you?' she said.

'It has been really tough on some people but in the main I have been lucky. I have struggled with it mentally, but at least I can see a way forward.'

When her course in uniform public services was brought to a halt at the college, she went out and got a job at Morrisons in Paignton where, coincidentally, the staff had already raised thousands to provide food for the Alliance.

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Come September, Tyla hopes to return to the college to complete her course before going on to train as a nurse with the Royal Navy possibly also training as an officer at Dartmouth.

Tyla is hoping to complete her task in the next two weeks and hopes, in the meantime, more people will donate via her fundraising page at Crowdfunder https://bit.ly/3cvIehs.

'As food is a basic human need, it is essential there is help for those who need it, whenever and wherever. I just hope it captures the imagination – 50 miles for 50 people to eat for one day – and that they will be able to help in some way, no matter how small,' she said.

A spokesman for the Torbay Food Alliance, which represents 12 organisations across the Bay, said: 'It is fantastic that Tyla wants to do this. We set up to ensure no-one went hungry during this crisis and it is with the help and enthusiasm of caring people like Tyla that we are able to continue to do so. So far we have provided the equivalent of more than 75,000 meals. We are also aware that some people are going to continue to need help for a while yet.'