A Royal Navy submarine crew has gone the extra mile to raise vital funds for a Wirral children's hospice.

Faslane-based HMS Astute used their daily exercise time over the weekend of May 2 & 3 to build a pot of over £4,000 for Claire House.

The original challenge was for around 50 of the ship’s company to walk, run, cycle or row a total distance of 560 miles – the distance from HM Naval Base Clyde to Claire House Children’s Hospice on the Wirral and back.

Over the course of the weekend, the crew smashed the 560 mile target and ended up covering 2,163 miles, nearly quadrupling the initial goal.

Members of the ship’s company each completed their exercise in their own homes or local area and uploaded their mileage onto social media through a fitness app.

Wirral Globe:

Leading Seaman Tactical Systems Submarines (LS TSM) Andy McColl completed a 250-mile cycle in a single session and Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) John Gabb ran two half marathons over the two days.

Lieutenant (Lt) Arran Deakin, who was responsible for collating everyone’s mileage said: “We knew this would be a huge challenge and I’ve been blown away by both the generosity of our supporters and the wonderful efforts put in by the crew. The way everyone has risen to the challenge of the event is typical of the submarine ethos and I wouldn’t expect anything less from the crew of HMS Astute.”

As well as smashing their mileage target the crew also quadrupled the £1,000 cash target they set themselves at the start of the challenge raising a total of £4,120 for the Wirral Children’s Hospice.

Claire House helps seriously and terminally ill children live life to the full by bringing back a sense of normality to family life and like many organisations it is being heavily impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Lieutenant Craig Barrie, who organised the remote charity event said: “Claire House is a fantastic charity that we’ve a very close relationship with. They carry out incredible work at the Hospice and we wanted to support them through a really difficult time.

“The majority of their group fundraising has been suspended with the shutdown so we thought we’d find a different way of raising money whilst still adhering to Government guidelines.

"We are delighted that we were able to smash our planned targets and give Claire House as much support as possible.”