A FERNDOWN man is creating a 'buzz' for fundraising with his unorthodox marathon challenge.

Joe Beaven is running four and a half marathons over two plus weeks dressed as Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story franchise to fundraise for Bournemouth Hospital.

He aims to provide 370 'thank you' packages to NHS staff on the red and green wards at the hospital, in conjunction with his church DISCOVER: Church, Bournemouth amid the pandemic.

Joe explained his inspiration for the challenge: "I was inspired by my friend in Bristol who fundraised dressed as a nurse. I chose Buzz as that's the fancy dress costume I own, but it works well because in my eyes NHS staff are superheroes, much like Buzz."

Joe has been running since the middle of May and will complete his 185km challenge on May 31 after evenings filled with gruelling runs.

Despite the challenge that has been posed, bringing joy to his local community and aiding frontline health care workers has fuelled Joe to keep going.

He said: "It's very challenging and really hot. Some nights I don't want to do it, but that reflects the feeling of the frontline NHS staff who have no control over the situation. There have also been quite a few kids who love seeing me out running. There is a real community feel."

Joe hopes to raise £3,700 to provide a 'thank you' package to 370 members of NHS staff.

Packages will include items such as hand creams, hot chocolate, nice teas and more, depending on the volume of donations.

If the total surpasses Joe's target, the extra donations will be donated to the Bournemouth Hospital Charity.

To support Joe's challenge, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/buzz4bhnhs

You can also visit Joe's Facebook page, 'Buzz 4 BH NHS'.