TWO men put their backs into a fundraising drive in aid of their village hall.

Wheelchair user John McLeod was pushed in his chair all the way from Hamsterley to Witton Park by friend Paul Hauxwell on Sunday.

Wheelchair user will be pushed miles for Witton Park venue

A crowd of villagers gave the duo a warm welcome when they reached the finish line at Witton Park Village Hall, at the same time as a family funday was in full swing.

The event coincided with the unveiling of a defibrillator, which was donated to the village by Atkinson Minerals.

Mr McLeod and Mr Hauxwell raised more than £1,300 in sponsorship money which paid for an external box and installation of the potentially lifesaving machine.

And the fun day raised at least a further £2,700 to boost the village hall coffers.

Kath Wood, chairman of Witton Park Community Association, said: "I just can't believe so much was raised– more than £4,000 in total.

"The village very much appreciates Paul and John's efforts. We are very grateful to Shannon Hauxwell and her family for their enthusiasm and passion in organising this event.

"We would also like to pass on our gratitude to the local businesses and contacts who donated fabulous raffle prizes and to those who gave their time and expertise freely for the enjoyment of the many visitors today."

She said the funday, which included raffles and family entertainment, was so popular that residents are already talking about making it an annual event.