A KIND-hearted charity champion is taking on a 50-mile challenge around Cumbrae to raise money for the ongoing restoration of Millport Town Hall.

Gary Ferguson, 56, will walk, cycle, swim and kayak around the island at Easter to help fund the iconic building’s revamp.

The CalMac worker hopes the challenge can be a way to give back to the Millport community, following their years of support for his previous charity endeavours.

He said: “The people of Millport have always been very generous. They always been the first to put their hands in their pockets or give me words of encouragement.

“I felt it would be nice to try and raise some money to give something back to them, and there is no better cause than the town hall’s restoration.

“I had the idea a few years ago to complete a challenge with five different methods such as walking, cycling and getting in the water.

“It was always in the back of my mind so when this opportunity came up I knew it was the perfect way to help."

Alongside his Cumbrae challenge, Gary is training for a mission to Mongolia next year where he will climb mountains to raise vital funds for Ardgowan Hospice in Greenock.

He hopes that his island efforts next month will help him to prepare for his next big challenge in 2024.

The Largs man explained: “Cumbrae is about ten miles round, so it works out rather nicely if I split it up with different modes of travel.

“The plan is to do just over 40 miles on the bike, then walk up over the top of the island which is another seven, then get out in the Kayak before swimming and paddleboarding to the Eilans.

“It’s a great training exercise for Mongolia and I’m hoping the weather stays dry to make it a bit easier.

“I live in Largs and work on the Cumbrae ferry route so I have a strong connection to the island."

Gary has set a target of raising £500 and is calling on friends, family and strangers to help him reach it.

He added: “Whenever I’ve done charity events in the past, the island is always first to step up, and I’m hoping it will do so again.

“I have a target of £500 and we’ve got a couple of hundred pounds pledged already which is more than I expected at this stage.

“I hope this story will help spread the word about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. It is good exposure for the charity too and perhaps help them generate even more support for this great project.”

Readers can donate to Gary’s fundraiser at www.justgiving.com/page/gary-ferguson-1667836024167