ILMINSTER potato supplier Branston is virtually travelling around the world in 80 days to support its charity of the year, Children’s Hospices South West.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the spud supplier had to cancel its fundraising events this year including its big annual 100-mile sponsored cycle.

However, it will now be taking part in a walking, running, cycling and canoeing challenge to see if the team can virtually make it around the world in 80 days.

Staff from all its sites, including the one near to Seavington, will be boosting their fitness and raising much-needed funds for Children’s Hospices South West.

The charity provides palliative, respite, end of life and bereavement care for life-limited and terminally ill children and their families.

The challenge started earlier this month and set to be completed on Monday, October 26, with staff aiming to cover more than 300 miles a day.

James Truscott, managing director at Branston said: “It was really disappointing that we had to cancel our fundraising events this year due to coronavirus.

“However, we’re delighted that we can still raise money for a charity that is local to us by taking part in a virtual challenge instead.

“We’re setting ourselves quite a challenge but it’s important that we all push ourselves raise even more vital funds as charities across the country need our help more than ever before.”

The virtual challenge was inspired by the fictional voyage undertaken by Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.

The team will be racing against the clock to rack up the miles, aiming to make it all around the equator in a straight line (24,901 miles).

Every year Branston raises funds for a charity of the year at each of its sites and in 2019 the team raised an impressive £35,000 for St Barnabas Hospice, St Margaret’s Hospice and Maggie’s Centre.

James added: “We hope that everyone is keen to support and encourage our endeavours, we’re aiming to raise at least £16,000 across all three sites.”

Branston is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of potatoes - for leading UK retailers and wholesalers - as well as providing seed for potato growers.

If you would like to donate to Children’s Hospices South West visit,