Superman Steve runs almost 400 miles in aid of NSPCC
This summer marks the end of a year-long fundraising push by a Plymouth man who has completed a series of sponsored runs to celebrate his 60th birthday.
Steve Neal has covered over 390 miles since turning 60 in June of last year, raising over £1,300 for the NSPCC by taking part in races dressed as popular superhero Superman.
He first started fundraising for the NSPCC in 2002 and says he is more than happy to continue helping children who are in need.
“I get as much out of it as the NSPCC does, it is a lot of fun,” he said. “What happens to some children is very upsetting, but that is what drives me on.
“I was lucky that I had parents who brought me up nicely, they gave me the right rules and we lived in the right way.
“You want every child to have that and you don’t know what worries people are carrying around with them.
“I think there is a lot of fun to be had fundraising, so I will continue to do it as it gives me something to do in my semi-retirement too.”
Fundraising helps fund the work of the NSPCC, including the charity’s Schools Service, which delivers the Speak out Stay safe programme free to primary school pupils across the city through school assemblies and workshops.
During each visit, the children are taught about physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well how to identify a trusted adult they can talk to if they do have any worries or concerns.
The assemblies are tailored to different year groups to ensure the content is age-appropriate.
The pupils are taught how to contact Childline, which is free for them to call about anything that is concerning them, at any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.
Thousands of children benefit from the NSPCC’s Schools Service each year across Plymouth.
Community Fundraising Manager for Devon and Cornwall, Alison Armer said: “When we talk about Steve, we normally call him Superman.
“We were delighted to hear he wanted to mark his special birthday with a whole year of running for the NSPCC.
“Steve has been a much-valued volunteer with us for so many years, and has shown a real dedication to the cause, which we know is something he is really passionate about.
“We are grateful for the money he has raised, which has helped us to continue to provide our vital services for children and families.”
Out of its service centre at Cattedown, the NSPCC is supporting the Together for Childhood partnership programme, which aims to prevent child sexual abuse in Plymouth.
It also offers direct services through its Letting the Future In, and Turn the Page programmes to support children who have experienced sexual abuse rebuild their lives, and help children who may be at risk of harmful sexual behaviour.
Anyone interested in volunteering or fundraising for the NSPCC to help keep local children safe can register online or contact Alison Armer on Alison.Armer@nspcc.org.uk or 07779341767.
Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk for advice. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk for free 24/7, 365 days a year.