A DURSLEY minister said he was 'deeply moved' by the community's support for his fundraising challenge.

Rev Simon Helme, minister at Dursley Tabernacle, pledged to walk 10,000 steps each day in May for charity Christian Aid which is helping mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the world’s poorest communities.

Mr Helme, who walked a total of 300,000 steps and 180 miles, set out to raise £3,000, but his total topped £5k at £5,076 plus Gift Aid.

He said: “We know how much Covid-19 has impacted on our lives and community and that’s with the work of our remarkable NHS, as well as employee protection schemes and other state interventions.

“The impact on less resilient countries and communities is going to be devastating.

“Lockdown for millions of people means they can’t feed their children.

“When as a church we realised that the annual Christian Aid Week fundraisers couldn’t happen in the usual way in May, I decided I would get out from behind my desk and give people an opportunity to give to help the world’s vulnerable people.

“I have been deeply moved by the response. People have been so generous.

“At a time when people face so much of their own uncertainty here in our own community, there has been an understanding that others are in a much worse situation. I want to say a huge, heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the challenge."

The money will help Christian Aid partners respond to the crisis such as distributing emergency food, soap and hygiene kits, as well as supporting those impacted by a rise in domestic violence.

For more information visit: christianaid.org.uk/appeals/emergencies/coronavirus-emergency-appeal