A HEXHAM resident has set himself a 100 mile running challenge to help out a charity after a difficult period.

Neil McDonald heard about a recent incident involving local charity Journey Enterprises where two of their minibuses were badly damaged after an arson attack in Newcastle and has decided to help raise vital funds for the organisation through the challenge.

“I thought I could maybe try and do something a little bit different," said Neil.

“Obviously with it it being Covid times you can’t really do much, but I thought this (challenge) would be one way of keeping myself fit and raising a bit more money for them at the same time."

Neil decided to set the 100 mile target after previously completing another running challenge in recent months as he went on to explain.

"There was one I’d done to do with the Great North Run at the start of lockdown which I think was 70 miles," he added.

"That was one they’d set up themselves, so I thought going up to 100 miles would be a real test for me and would warrant a few more people to think ‘yeah, I might sponsor him for that’ and it would help raise a bit more money too.

After deciding to set up the challenge, Neil chose to ask for a sponsorship target of £250, but that figure was incredibly met in less than 24 hours

"I said £250 on my link because I know its’ a tough time for people when it comes to asking for money," Neil explained.

"With Journey, I know the minimum they said was £25 so I just put a sort of rough target of £250 and hoped for the best really.

"The £250 target was met in less than 24 hours, so after speaking to them I’ve decided to raise it to £400 as any extra money will only benefit Journey."

As part of the challenge Neil is hoping also not just to help the charity raise funds but also wants to challenge himself when it comes to running.

"I have a couple of routes I usually do to Warden and back round into Hexham or by Corbridge because I know they’re roughly three or four miles," he said.

"But then I’d like to maybe try on a Saturday to take it further to get something like a 10 mile run in or something just to find different routes, but yeah it'll be good for myself trying to find new bits."

"I just thought it’s a tough time for everyone but doing that with the charity, I can’t get my head around it. What were they thinking they'd achieve?

"Them (the people who did it) don’t realise the impact it’ll have on the charity and their means of transport."

To donate to Neil's running challenge and for more information head to https://journeyenterprises.enthuse.com/pf/neil-mcdonald.