A MAN who is attempting to run the equivalent of the distance from his home address to France in memory of his uncle who died from coronavirus has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

 

Tony Stopforth, from Hoyland Common, set himself the challenge of running more than 450 kilometres for NHS Together.

 

Tony chose the NHS charity as his uncle, Malcolm Siddall, died in April after contracting the virus.

 

So far Tony, 41, has raised more than £2,000 for the charity, but still intends to hit his £3,000 after his equivalent swim across the English Channel.

 

Tony said: “It really hit home on two sides, it has affected someone who is close to home and then the care and support he received at Barnsley Hospital during his final days.

 

Tony, who is a supermarket worker, is a keen runner who has raised money for local charities for years.

 

“I’ve always supported charities in any way I can but now its more important than ever to do as much as I can,” Tony said.

 

“I thought what bigger challenge than running from my home address to France which is quite the challenge.

 

“I initially set my target to run to London, but once that seemed more achievable I knew I could push myself even further so set the goal of France.

 

“I’m doing it as my daily exercise as it really supports mental health. I find my release through running, so I want to highlight mental health awareness as well.”

 

Tony’s fundraising efforts have earned him a nomination for Fundraiser of the Year at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

 

“I feel very proud to be nominated for this. I don’t do it for self-recognition, I do it to make a difference.

 

“I won’t stop fundraising, and I thought this was a really great cause. Hopefully, we can continue to raise more money and hit our target.

 

“I was inspired to start this for my Uncle Malc and the rest of my amazing family.

 

“I can’t thank the NHS enough for everything they do and for making our final moments with him so special, and I just want to make him proud.”