A WHEELCHAIR user and his fitness fanatic friend will hit the road to raise money towards community projects.

Forester and wagon driver John McLeod, who lost the use of his legs after he was hit by a car around 30 years ago, will take part in a sponsored shove on Sunday, September 8.

He will be pushed the five or so miles between Hamsterley Social Club and Witton Park Village Hall by colleague Paul Hauxwell.

The duo hope their efforts will be rewarded with donations towards the village hall.

Mr McLeod, 48, said: "Last year there was a big 'use it or lose it' push to get residents to support Witton Park Village Hall and a lot of work has been done since then in the community.

"Apart from six months living in Toft Hill, I've lived in the village all of my life. It was once a Category D village but now I see people I've known forever working hard and passionately to make positive things happen here.

"I wanted to do my bit and I asked if Paul would help me, he's fit enough for the job."

Proceeds will go into hall funds where current projects include the installation of a defibrillator, roof repairs and a car park extension.

Stan Thexton, vice chairman of the new village hall committee which formed last year, said: "We ended up with just £45 in the bank after we had to replace the boiler and that was a bit of a shock.

"We've made a few changes and good things are happening. Three of us volunteers now share the cleaning instead of paying someone, Wednesday night bingo is popular, we've a community minibus and we've made and replaced four seats around the village.

"The hall is being used more which means people are getting out to socialise now and we've money coming in, but we always need to keep raising funds. John's a good lad and this shove is a good idea, there'll be a warm welcome for them at the end."

Mr Thexton said new, younger volunteers are needed and anyone interested can call him on 07854-566816. To sponsor the shove call Mr McLeod on 07792-764310 or do so via Witton Park Village Hall's Facebook page.