A KIND-HEARTED Warwick man will be taking compassion to a new level as he completes an impressive 56 fundraising challenges for charity.
Steve Atherton is organising his one-man campaign ’56 Not Out,’ to not only mark his upcoming birthday in good stead, but to raise money for Leamington-based homeless charity Helping Hands.
From performing ten pull-ups and dressing up as a knight, to abseiling and and completing 56 runs each with 56 different people – Steve has collectively set himself around 280 challenges.
The 55 year-old dad of two, set himself the gruelling challenge after being shocked at the number of homeless people he passed during a run last winter.
Steve told The Observer: “What really struck me was that there was a homeless person in a doorway of this expensive looking retirement home.
“I didn’t sleep all night, I was tearing my hair out. Something needs to change. But I didn’t know what, or how.”
It was then Steve came across Helping Hands, which runs a drop-in centre, soup kitchen, and schemes to help vulnerable people find accommodation and work.
And with some 800 people registered homeless in Leamington, volunteers and fundraisers are needed more than ever.
Anthony Dwyer from Helping Hands said: “Without volunteers and people like Steve, we couldn’t help all the people we do. We are overwhelmed by Steve’s efforts and compassion to raise awareness in the wider community. We are 100 per cent behind him and really want him to succeed.”
Steve, who is also raising money for national homeless charity Shelter, hopes to raise £2,000 for Helping Hands.
He said: “It’s not just about money but about breaking down boundaries and encouraging people to do little things whether it’s buying a homeless person a coffee or putting coins in a charity money box.”
Steve’s first challenge is to take on the Two Castles Run between Warwick and Kenilworth Castle, in a costume yet to be revealed.
Follow Steve’s page ’56 Not Out’ on Facebook to support him and read more about his journey.