A DETERMINED pensioner has not held back in setting himself a New Year challenge.

Melvyn Walmsley, who turned 70 in December, is running 70 miles throughout January to help disadvantaged children in Ghana.

Melvyn, from Hayward's Heath, began his running challenge on New Year's Day.

He said: "I was 70 in December and I decided to challenge myself to run 70 cold, solo miles in January from my home, on a measured 1.3 mile urban lap.

"Since September I have built up my running to 18.2 miles - or 14 laps - every week, for the first time in 32 years.

"I'm doing it four times this month to give disadvantaged children a new start in life."

Melvyn is running in aid of the Lovey Foundation - a charity founded in Brighton in 2016.

The Argus: Children with their new uniforms and stationery in Bawku, GhanaChildren with their new uniforms and stationery in Bawku, Ghana

It provides school uniforms and primary school equipment for children of subsistence farmers in the Bawku Municipal District in Upper East Ghana, where many children become child labourers if they do not attend school.

Melvyn is a trustee at the charity and said its mission is close to his heart.

He said: "I became a trustee because in the 1920s my father passed his grammar school entrance exams, but he didn’t go because his parents simply couldn’t afford the school uniform.

"In Bawku, many children break stones to sell, chop firewood and mind livestock instead of going to school.

"In 2020 it cost us about £70 to equip a child there for school. I aim to raise £70 for each of the 70 miles I run - a child's life changed per mile."

Melvyn said the Lovey Foundation has been successfully breaking down social, economic and cultural barriers that keep children from school.

To sponsor him, visit www.peoplesfundraising.com/fundraising/70-70run.