A COUNCIL employee praised the community's phenomenal support after completing a 200km challenge that has raised more than £3,000 for Wirral University Teaching Hospital Trust's Globe-backed COVID-19 appeal.

Chris Ricks - a staff member for 17 years in the council's Children’s Services team - used his daily exercise allowance to raise vital funds to support the appeal, set up by the WUTH Charity in conjunction with the Globe.

The campaign has so far raised £64,817, thanks to our readers' support.

It was launched in April to help Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals by raising money that can be quickly redistributed into the effort to tackle the pandemic here in Wirral.

All money raised through the fund is kept separate from other fund-raising activities, so people can be sure that any donations that they make are going directly to the source of the Coronavirus battle.

Chris started his fundraising run for the appeal in May, but a nasty twisted ankle injury brought his run to a temporary pause.

Not prepared to give up, he pledged to complete another 100km walking, and finished the challenge this week.

He told the Globe: "After waiting three weeks after completing the 200km for my ankle to heal, I set out again to complete the further 100km.

"It became clear immediately that my ankle was too weak to run on, and despite trying several times throughout the further 100km, it was simply to weak and painful.

"This meant that I have had to walk the entire 100km.

"I've walked several routes including wallasey to Meols and back, Bickerton Hill in Cheshire, the Long Mynd in Shropshire, and Tatton Park, taking in some lovely views along the way.

"Thanks to everyone who had been involved and who had sponsored me. The total now stands at over £3,000 with gift aid added.

"I thanked our nhs and keyworkers and stated that it was brilliant to be finishing the challenge on the eve of the 72nd birthday of the NHS.

"I also talked about the sad reality of this pandemic and how families have lost loved ones and been left devastated.

"I left people with a message of how important it is to take some time for themselves and try to maintain positive mental health, to be there for their families, and above all be kind to one another.

"I'd also like to thank Wirral Globe for their superb coverage of the challenge."

If you would like to support Chris' efforts by making a donation, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-ricks1

You can donate directly to the fund online via the official WUTH charity appeal page: www.justgiving.com/campaign/WUTHCovid-19appeal

Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to WUTH Charity, to the Charity Office, Arrowe Park Hospital, Upton Road, Wirral CH49 5PE

For further information contact the Charity Office on 0151 678 5111 ext. 7226