When an Abbey Gate College sixth form student heard that one of his close friends had been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, he knew he had to do something to help.

Barnaby Franklin, a sports ambassador for the college, pledged to complete a triathlon in order to raise money for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity after hearing of James Fairclough’s diagnosis.

On a cold, rainy day last August, Barnaby, along with 100 other competitors, began the challenge of completing an 850m swim in Daernford Lake, near Whitchurch, followed by a 20km bike ride and 5km run. Despite being the youngest competitor he finished in a creditable 45th place, in a time of just over 1 hour 10 minutes.

To date Barney has raised nearly £2,500, smashing his original target of £1,000. As a result of his fantastic achievement he has been invited to attend a Sports Awards Event, organised by the charity, at The Kia Oval, the home of Surrey Cricket Club, on January 29.

Barnaby has also received an email from the JustGiving website congratulating him, as his website was one of the most successful fundraising sites in 2014, appearing in the top 3% of all fundraising sites on Just Giving during last year.

James, who is now symptom free, has praised his friend’s fantastic efforts.

The college is also donating all funds raised this year to the cancer-based charity CLIC Sargent who support an increasing number of families in the region and across the UK.

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families and they provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life.

For further details about the charity, including how to donate, please follow the link: www.clicsargent.org.uk/content/donate .