The manager of a Wrexham café took to the streets of Manchester to raise funds for a charity which aims to build schools in poor coffee growing countries.
Carl Hughes, 27, has worked at the Costa franchise within the Odeon Cinema at Eagles Meadow for the past six years and has managed the outlet for the past two.
But Carl, alongside his duties at Costa, has studied hard to achieve his ambition of becoming a primary school teacher.
He will be completing his teacher training on the job when he takes up a position at the Matthew Arnold Primary School in Liverpool in September.
As a way of thanking his Costa bosses and Odeon manager’s for allowing him to organise his shifts around his lectures and study obligations, Carl ran the Morrisons Great Manchester 10k Run raising funds for The Costa Foundation.
He said: “If I’m passionate about two things it’s education and coffee. So, for me, running for the Costa Foundation, which funds the building of schools in poor coffee-growing countries, was a perfect fit.
“I joined up with two other members of Costa staff, Phil Gallanders, who manages a Costa outlet in Warrington and Meg Palmer, who is a Costa regional trainer, to run the Manchester 10k raising funds for the Costa Foundation. Both Phil and Meg are from Wrexham originally.
“I finished the run in 51 minutes 56 seconds which wasn’t a bad time but it was quite difficult getting a clear run due to the sheer number of runners taking part.
“The atmosphere was amazing though and we raised more than £500 with money still coming in. My wife and 10 month old daughter were there to meet me at the end of the run which was amazing.”
Carl, who hails from Wrexham and is a former Ysgol Bryn Alyn pupil, studied sports coaching at Wrexham Glyndwr University and is on his way to being qualified as a primary school teacher through the Liverpool John Moores University’s School Direct Programme.
He said: “I start at the Mathew Arnold Primary School in Dingle, Liverpool from September which is something I’m really looking forward to.
“However, the help I received from Costa and the general managers at the Odeon Cinema at Eagles Meadow has been amazing and has made it so much easier for me.
“I have received so much support during my studies and periods of voluntary work for which I’m really grateful.
“I will certainly miss working at Costa when I go into teaching. We have so many regular customers at Eagles Meadow and many have become friends and the team I work with is amazing too.”
Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre manager Kevin Critchley says he was delighted to hear of Carl’s fundraising run.
He said: “Well done to Carl for tacking the Great Manchester Run and raising funds for such a good cause as the Costa Foundation. The Foundation does amazing work building and running schools in poor coffee-growing countries around the world.
“I’m also delighted to hear that Carl has achieved his ambition of qualifying as a primary school teacher. I wish him all the best in his new career although I’m sure he will be sorely missed by everyone at Costa.”
To sponsor Carl visit www.sponsorme.co.uk/costafoundation/team-odeon-great-run.aspx and to find out what’s on at the Odeon go to www.odeon.co.uk/cinemas/wrexham_eagles_meadow/173/