When para-athlete Jonathan Brough heard that lockdown was going to put a stop to his planned races this year, he could have been downhearted. After all, lockdown for him means strict self-isolation.

Instead, with his usual determination, Jonathan decided he’d still race – even if he had to do the challenges on his own.

As a result, he has managed an incredible 580km since May and raised nearly £1,500 for NHS Charities Together. And all this from a wheelchair.

Jonathan, 32, is paralysed from the neck down and permanently attached to a breathing machine since a devastating bout of meningitis at the age of 18. But – always athletic – that hasn’t stopped him racing. He covered the distance by planning on- and off-road routes around his home in Minchinhampton, doing an average of 6.2 km a day in his all-terrain wheelchair.

When the weather stopped him going out, he switched to his indoor disability bike, which generates muscle-contracting pulses enabling Jonathan to ‘pedal’.

“Being able to race has been a lifeline for me,” Jonathan says.

“At one point at the beginning of lockdown, I wasn’t even able to see my parents properly. They had to wave at me through the window.

“Knowing I had to cover a certain distance each week gave me a reason to go out, which has been really good for my mental and physical health.”

Jonathan began his challenges in May with the Great Run – a series of running events around the UK – which this year instigated a new Great Run Solo.

Instead of participants running together, this specially-formulated lockdown challenge allowed entrants to participate by themselves, with all money raised going to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

When that ended in June, Jonathan moved on to the Great Run North Solo, finishing on September 13. He hit his 482km target in four months, in spite of a period of illness that kept him bedbound during part of the challenge.

Raising the money was his way of saying ‘thank you’ to the NHS, which helped him rehabilitate following his paralysis back in 2007, and which provides on-going care when he needs it.

“The NHS has been really important to me, and it’s such a relevant time to remember how much they do for us,” Jonathan says.

He also wants to use this opportunity to thank the amazing donors who helped him raise more than £17,000 last year for the all-terrain wheelchair he uses.

Not only does it allow him to compete in more races; it has meant he can once again enjoy using Minchinhampton Common for the first time since his paralysis.

Ask him what’s next, and he’s still thinking. He did have his sights on Stroud Half Marathon – sadly cancelled for 2020 – which he last completed on foot in October 2006, aged 18, in an incredibly competitive one hour 33 minutes.

“I’m definitely looking for my next challenge,” he says. “I’m always raring to go.”

• Jonathan – a graduate in media arts – posted photographs of local scenes as he went along, available via his Facebook and Instagram accounts. You can still sponsor him via justgiving.com/fundraising/jonathan-brough6