John’s marathon challenge in brother’s memory

A Shropshire care assistant, who changed career after his brother died from an aggressive brain tumour, is taking on a marathon challenge in his memory and to raise vital funds for charity.

John Payne, who works at Barclay Gardens care home in Donnington, has been taking part in the Jog 26.2 Miles in May challenge in support of Brain Tumour Research. It follows the death of his younger brother Matt Payne, in November 2021, aged 38, just 15 months after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.

Throughout his last year John helped care for his brother, alongside Matt’s wife, Zoe, a 36-year-old teaching assistant. Matt died at home surrounded by his family, including children Ava aged nine and Aston, 12.

The whole experience led John to rethink his career and in February he left his job as a kitchen porter to retrain as a care assistant. He now works for Shropshire’s largest not-for-profit care provider, Coverage Care Services, looking after elderly residents on a day-to-day basis.

John said, “My family commented how supportive I was with Matt and so I decided to try it and I liked it. It’s been very rewarding so far and I really enjoy going to work every day.”

Debbie Ellis, manager of Barclay Gardens, said John is a real asset to the team and his caring nature has shone through since day one.

“We are delighted to have John as part of our team. He will do anything to support our residents to live a fulfilled, happy and comfortable life. It takes great courage to change careers like that but just goes to show that a job working in the care sector can be very rewarding for individuals even if they’ve never considered it before.

“Hearing about John’s heartbreaking story and how he cared for his younger brother has touched us all and it would be great to get as much support as possible for John as he looks to complete his marathon challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. It goes without saying that we are wishing him the very best of success with it.”

To support John in his fundraising efforts visit

CAPTION: Brotherly love . . . Matt and John.


On Key

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