Jarrow dad-of-four raises more than £1,400 for cancer charity with 24-hour litter pick

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A Jarrow dad and his daughter have taken on a mammoth litter picking challenge for charity.

Neil Wheatley, and his daughter Emily, have taken part in a 24-hour litter picking challenge around Jarrow as they aimed to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Starting at 6am on Thursday, July 4, and finishing at 6am on Friday, July 5, the duo walked 18.85 miles, took 45,826 steps, picked up 10,087 items of rubbish and filled 53 bin bags.

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Neil took on the challenge after both his parents had been impacted by cancer - but he also wanted to do something that would benefit his local community.

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The dad-of-four said: “When my mam had cancer nine years ago, I did the the Great North Run but now that my dad is going through a cancer battle, I didn’t fancy doing that again.

“I’ve done litter picks before down by the coast so I thought that it would be good to do something like this in the local area, especially with the impact of the bin strikes still going on.

“It was decided that this way, we’d be able to raise money for Cancer Research UK and also help to tidy up the local community.

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“I work for a software company called Sage - they give their employees five days leave a year to help out with things for charity, as well as matching donations up to £200.

The pair walked 18.85 miles and took more than 45,000 steps during the challenge.The pair walked 18.85 miles and took more than 45,000 steps during the challenge.
The pair walked 18.85 miles and took more than 45,000 steps during the challenge. | Other 3rd Party

“They gave me the all clear to do it and the day itself was great - so many people came out and spoke to us about how cancer has impacted them or their families.

“Both my parents have had it and given that it seems to be in the family, there is a good chance that it could impact me in the future so doing whatever I can to help means a lot.”

Having raised £1,465 at the time of writing, Neil has expressed his surprise at the amount of donations and thanked those who have helped him out.

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The 43-year-old added: “To raise the amount of money we have when times are as tough as they are is just amazing.

“Strangers have donated online after seeing Facebook posts, people were coming up to us in the streets and giving cash donations.

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“I set the target of £500 because I thought that if I could raise £300, then work would supplement the rest and that would be a good amount raised.

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“I can’t thank everyone enough for donating, as well as a big thanks to Sage for their £200 donation and 38 Fitness, in Jarrow, for sharing all the social media posts.

“Also, I know the Council are getting a lot of flack at the moment but I had arranged for them to come and collect the rubbish before we’d done the litter pick.

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“When I rang them on Friday afternoon to come and collect the rubbish, all 53 bags had been taken within 10 minutes of the phone call so a big thanks to them as well.”

You can view and donate to Neil’s fundraiser by visiting: https://www.justgiving.com/page/24hrlitterpick.

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