Super active Steve Neary isn’t taking it easy for his 67th birthday – he’s tackling a 67-day charity challenge and hoping to raise a cash target of £6,767 for Pendleside Hospice.
During the challenge Clarets fan Steve is volunteering to help various charities apart from the hospice around the Burnley area.
They include the Horse and Pony Protection Association (HAPPA), Pendle Hill Landscapes Partnership, Burnley FC Football In The Community food kitchen, the Ribble Rivers Trust and Read Environmental Group. He has also helped out at Padiham FC who he played for in the 1970s.
The 67-day challenge started on October 13 and ends on Steve’s birthday on December 18 when he intends to pedal for 24 hours from 7am on December 17 to 7am on his birthday on a stationary bike at home.
Steve, who is a retired Department of Works and Pensions administrative officer, of Straits Lane, Read, is also holding a mammoth raffle with – yes, you have guessed it – 67 prizes which will be drawn at Pendleside on December 21. All the prizes will go to one winner.
He’s carrying out physical challenges like running, cycling, rowing and boxing as well general gym exercises. His volunteering has included litter picking; cutting back overgrown hedgerows on footpaths; power washing horse stable blocks; helping create a micro tree nursery; and recycling pallets into planters.
Steve also plans to help tidy up Read churchyard; help his friend Barrowford milkman Phil Sanderson to deliver doorstep pintas for a six days; and provide 67 soup and bread rolls to the Church On The Street Ministries charity.
He said: “I am doing a diverse variety of challenges because I want to attract as wide an audience as possible to reach my target of £6,767.”
All of the challenges involve the numbers 67, 6 or 7 such as cycling 67 miles, climbing Pendle steps 6 times, and providing 67 items of food for the food kitchen.
Steve said: “I wanted to do something meaningful to celebrate my birthday. Pendleside is such a wonderful place so I thought I would raise some money to help them. But at the same time I want to contribute my time and efforts to other local charities as well.
“I’m dedicating my challenge to the memory of friends who are no longer with us, David ‘Tids’ Turner, David Kelly, Michael Finnigan, Ian Harper, Mark Byrom, Derek Roberts and my aunties Marion and Eveline who were cared for by Pendleside.”
Steve, who also played football for Read and Sabden, as well as managing at Read, is being supported by his three children Jordan, 35, India, 32, and Ellis, 30, who have been helping find sponsors and raffle prize donors.
Steve said: “People’s generosity has been unbelievable. The prizes we have been given for the raffle are fantastic.
“I would like to thank, in particular, Fort Vale Engineering who have donated £500 and Workware Warehouse, Burnley, who printed special Pendleside Hospice T-shirts with all the details of my challenge on them for free.
“My challenges will end with me cycling for 24 hours at my home. It will be an open house where people can call in, have a tit bit to eat and drink and drop a donation into a bucket.”
the Stork, Simonstone, the Queens Hotel, Cliviger, Julie Barrow Powerfit, Simonstone, Swan With Two Necks, Pendleton, and Beauty by Megan, Harle Syke, or by ringing Steve on 07950333215.