Family and friends of a first-time bodybuilder are hoping to raise money to send him to compete in a world competition via a fundraiser.

Zoe Newton Breen, Scott Breen, and Lisa Thompson have set up a Go Fund Me to help Simon Newton, a first-time bodybuilder, to compete in a worldwide competition in Rome.

Fitness instructor Simon,49, was named 'Mr. Britain' when he won first place in the over 45 category of the IBFA British finals Sunday, 12 June after only a few months of training.

Simon has now been invited to The World's in Rome on November 6, which he thought he could not afford to attend.

Until now.

"My husband, myself, and Lisa thought it a great idea to try and get some help towards further competitions," said Zoe, Simon's cousin.

"Simon has worked so so hard for months to achieve this and in all honesty, he didn’t think he would even place let alone win!

"His dedication and strength through this have been impeccable and I as his family am so proud of him!

Lisa, who owns No Limits Gym in Hexham and is Simon's employer adds: "He is a real asset to our team.

"He’s an inspiration to all our members and he’s a fun person to work with with a big heart.

"He has done absolutely amazing and shown deal dedication and what he has accomplished is incredible. We were there cheering him on Sunday.

"It was an amazing day and we are so proud of him.

"Now we have put up a just giving page on No Limits Facebook to help send him to Rome which he fully deserves."

Speaking about the support and the idea of the fundraiser, Simon said: "I really thought that I could not afford to attend The Worlds.

"I am so grateful to Scott and Lisa who, without my knowledge, set me up a go fund page which has raised over £300 in less than a day.

"I can't thank people's kindness enough"