CIRCLING a lake in a wheelchair for 24 hours is no mean feat.
But seasoned fundraiser David Williamson did it – although he admitted it was one of his toughest challenges to date.
The 37-year-old did the 24-hour wheelchair push around Lakeside, at North Harbour, to raise money for the Tree of Hope and the Willow Vision Appeal.
He circled the lake for 24 hours, taking breaks for no longer than five minutes at a time.
David, who has completed the Great South Run three times, said this was a tough slog but it was worth it for Willow.
Willow was born 10 weeks prematurely and suffered a massive brain haemorrhage shortly after being born.
She had nine operations on her brain in the first seven months of her life.
Now six, she has several severe health issues.
To donate go to www.justgiving.com/Willow24
David, who lives in Portsmouth, said: ‘The idea came from an event at the Mountbatten Centre that is held every year, a 24-hour event.
‘My friend did that and told me about two armed forces members who did it in full gear and I thought ‘‘what’s the difference between two members of the forces at the height of physical fitness and me?’’
‘There is a lot of difference.
‘It was to raise money for a little girl called Willow and Willow’s Vision Appeal. She has a number of challenges ahead of her. She has cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and she is registered blind.
‘She is a fantastic little girl and we are here to help her.’
A number of volunteers from the community helped to organise the day and run stalls to keep people entertained during the challenge.
‘It is amazing,’ said David.
‘I am so grateful and so humble.
‘There are six or seven people who have really pitched in and made it happen.’
David completed the Great South Run in aid of the charity last year.
He explained: ‘When I came to do it for the third time I remembered a guy I used to work with who was Willow’s uncle.
‘He came in one day selling wristbands and I did what everyone does.
‘I bought a band for £3, donated my money, and forgot about it.
‘When I went to do the run though, she popped into my head.’
The event has raised more than £1,500 already. To find out more about Willow visit willowsvisionappeal.com/index.html