A WELL-KNOWN Barnsley man has raised more than £1,000 for a local charity after taking on the ‘hardest challenge of his life’.

Joe Beardsall, 31, is known to most for his YouTube channel where he focuses on the goings-on at Barnsley FC – but it’s his fundraising exploits that have made the headlines this time.

The challenge to run 1,000 miles with the hopes of raising £1,000 for local charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – who work alongside churches to offer help to residents – began last February.

Locally, CAP works with Gateway Church in Barnsley to offer free debt help and money coaching sessions.

Joe finished his mammoth challenge on Sunday, running through the new town centre and past his beloved Oakwell before reaching the finishing line at Gateway Church.

He told the Chronicle: “The cost-of-living crisis is leading many families on low incomes, here in Barnsley and in communities across the UK, into financial difficulty because they don’t have enough money to cover the essentials they need to live.

“Many face unmanageable debt and desperate situations.

“This has been the hardest challenge of my life but also the most important.

“I’m not the fittest so running 1,000 miles hasn’t been easy.

“I weighed over 18 stone four years ago and could barely run a couple of miles so running up that big hill in Locke Park around five times a week consistently for a full year certainly hasn’t been a ‘walk in the park’.

“Pardon the pun.”

Joe managed to reach his target with just seven miles to go, much to his delight.

“My target was to raise £1,000 so £1 a mile,” he added.

“CAP’s work is mostly funded by donations from kind people who support the charity.

“My target was to raise £1,000 and I managed to hit that on the final week of my challenge, with seven miles to go.

“To raise over £1,000 shows the generous hearts of Barnsley people who have such an incredible community spirit and will always step up in times of need to help each other and those less fortunate.

“They truly are amazing.”