A grandfather who was touched by the work of a support group helping bereaved families in South Tyneside is on a gruelling trek to boost their funds.
Steve Laws has already completed the Coast to Coast cycle challenge in one day and climbed the steps at North Marine Park a staggering 337 times - a total of 68,748 steps - in aid of the Cruse Crew.
Today he is treking 90 miles from Carlisle to South Shields after being inspired further by the work of the group providing support to bereaved children and their families.
He will also be raising funds for South Tyneside based Speech After Stroke which provides support to stroke survivors
Mr Laws, a postman with Royal Mail said: “When you see what the families have gone through and how much being part of the group has helped them, it just makes you want to help.
“Coming along to the presentation last year, it really hit home for me and my family just what the group does, from getting the kids involved in activities to giving a place for people to come and talk.
It’s quite emmotive when you hear the support these groups give to people.Steve Laws
“It’s quite emmotive when you hear the support both these groups give to people and it’s support that can be provided straight away.”
Mr Laws is aiming to arrive back in South Shields tomorrow.
The, who is in his 50s, was inspired to take part in his first fundraising venture for the group after seeing the support they gave to his work colleague Alfie Leggett, following the death of his son Jack, nine, in 2013.
Alfie said: “We can’t thank Steve enough for all the support he has shown us and the group does really appreciate what he is doing.
“As without people like Steve, the group wouldn’t be able to continue to provide support to the families, in particular the children who need it.
“After I lost Jack, I visited some really dark places. No one else picked up on how far I’d gone, I put a brave face on, but they did and they didn’t give up on me. I know without the group I wouldn’t be here now.”
The Cruse Crew - run by volunteers - holds drop-in sessions on Tuesdays for children and families from 6pm until 7pm at Harton Miners Welfare in Low Lane, South Shields. They also take part in a variety of sports sessions and activities off site.
A coffee morning is provided for adults on Mondays 10am until 11am at the Armstrong Hall in South Shields. The sessions give people the chance to talk to one another about their loved one or just chat.