DYNAMIC Dudley councillor Steve Waltho has handed over £1,700 to two charitable causes after completing a mountainous 25 peak challenge just before lockdown.

Councillor Waltho, a former Dudley Mayor who is no stranger to charity fundraising adventures, wanted to try and help when the Council of Governors at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust announced it was trying to fund parent beds for the children's ward at Russells Hall Hospital.

Cllr Waltho, a keen mountaineer, also wanted to help borough charity Access In Dudley, which he is a patron of - which champions access to premises and services for people with disabilities, so he decided to take on a 25 peak charity fundraising challenge in the Lake District.

And he managed to complete the 45-mile hiking challenge just before the Covid-19 lockdown came into force at the end of March.

Cllr Waltho said: "I was lucky to complete the event at all as the challenge was broken up into four daily stages and lockdown was announced during that very week. The first stage started bitterly cold and wet with snow on a couple of peaks and it took a bit of mental effort not to turn back.

"As always thinking of the benefits to such good causes kept me going.

"My aim was to be able to purchase a bed and give an equal amount to Access In Dudley and this was achieved via some very generous sponsors to whom I'm enormously grateful."

He added: "Last year we climbed Ben Nevis in memory of the legendary peace campaigner Bert Bissell to raise funds for a wonderful local lady and mother-of-four Jules Garratt Payne who was courageously battling cancer and tragically lost the fight last November. Her very generous family made a large sponsor contribution for which we have pledged to get a plaque put on the bed in her honour."

The Saleem Foundation, of which Steve is chairman, also sponsored the event and has offered to fund the plaque.