A MAN from Whitchurch has decided to spend his Lent raising money for a children's charity.

Steve Slack, 51, decided he wanted to challenge himself, and as the time of year was Lent, he set out with the aim of running between 100 churches and completing 100 press-ups in each.

Steve said: "You can’t do a challenge like this without doing it for charity. I am a forces veteran myself and I know first hand how hard it is for military families, especially for the children when one of their parents is away for extended periods of time, it can be very difficult. The forces community they live within helps immensely as everyone is in the same situation and it is like a big family and support network. 

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"If the worst happens and that parent doesn’t come home, the loss is immense as not only have they lost a parent, but they will have also lost that extended family.  Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity that helps children whose lives have been torn apart by retaining that connection with the Forces Family and supporting them through their early life."

Steve started the challenge by finding a group of churches within a four or five-mile radius of each other, driving out in his lunch break before parking up and running between them, dropping a calling card in each one, doing press-ups in the grounds and signing the visitor's book before moving on to the next. 

Steve said: "It has obviously been very physically demanding. Every day when I wake up my body is telling me I shouldn’t be doing this! I wasn’t expecting how mentally exhausting it has been as I need to devote several hours a day to this, whilst juggling work and other commitments. But the fact that so many people have been supporting me with donations and kind words has kept me going."

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Steve aims to finish his challenge at the end of Lent, at Maundy Thursday Service at St Nicholas's church in Longparish on April 6, with the same vicar that he started the challenge with at The Ash Wednesday service in St Mary Bourne on February 22. 

Steve added: "I set myself a £1,000 fundraising target, currently it’s at £2,000 raised. My main aim here is to raise as much money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers as I possibly can as they do such heartwarming work."

More information about Steve's journey, and how to donate, can be found at justgiving.com/fundraising/thehungry100.