AN award winning fundraiser will tackle mountains, miles and martial arts this year as he leads charity supporters by example.

Mark Solan, of Spennymoor, County Durham, and five friends aim to cycle almost 900 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of The Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust.

The 44-year-old and girlfriend Rachel Pascall, 35, also plan to take part in sponsored walks along Hadrian’s Wall and up the National Three Peaks.

And he is in talks with taekwondo Master Russell Shaw, 4th Dan about a charity fight despite having never tried the sport.

He said: “I’m going to try to do as many things as I can, I’ve all sorts of ideas for things we can do to raise money and awareness and if someone is holding an event I want to do it.”

The money raised will all go towards the work of the Trust, which supports people affected by cancer and has a shop and treatment room in Spennymoor.

It was set up on the back of an Ultra White Collar Boxing match in 2015 through which Mr Solan raised an event-record £22,000 for Cancer Research UK.

His fundraising efforts, which included a return to the boxing ring against former Sunderland and Middlesbrough footballer Julia Arca and a 300 mile walk from London, earned him the ITV Tyne Tees Fundraiser of the Year title at the 2017 Pride of Britain Awards and a Scroll of Honour from Spennymoor Town Council in 2015.

The charity has also been adopted by a number of organisations, big and small, as their charity of the year for 2018.

They include Seaham Hall Hotel and Spa, Workwear Express, Spennymoor Town FC and chairman Brad Groves’ finance company Great Annual Savings, New College Durham and Clarence Court sheltered housing in Spennymoor.

Hardwick Live musical festival, to be held in Sedgefield in August, will also benefit the charity.

Mr Solan said: “To get Hardwick Live, one of the North-East’s biggest events which 8,000 people went to on both days last year, is a great opportunity.

“We’ll have merchandise and collections so it will be a great chance to raise money and awareness, to get the charity’s name out there and importantly so more people with cancer know we are there to help.

“It is amazing to get such support and I appreciate it all, from big events to money raised locally like the lovely women at Page Bank and Whitworth WI who supported us recently.”

The Trust will host its first sportsman dinner at Spennymoor Workingmen’s Club on Friday, February 23, from 7pm to 11pm.

North-East footballers Julio Arca and Steve Howey will be guest speakers, and a third may be announced at a later date. Local singer Steve Fothergill will also perform.

Tickets are £20 from the charity shop on High Street, Spennymoor.