Weston man raises £10k for charity that saved his life

Grand Pier fundraiser marathon.

Weston's Mayor, North Somerset Council and the Grand Pier's director unveiled the tally Paul Hobbs raised for the British Heart Foundation. - Credit: Grand Pier

More than £10,000 has been raised for the British Heart Foundation by a Weston man after becoming the first person to walk a marathon on a UK pier.

In August, Paul Hobbs made history, two years to the day after undergoing life-saving open-heart surgery following an aneurysm.

Since the marathon, he has held auctions to add to his £5,000 target before holding a ceremony at the Grand Pier to reveal the final total.

Grand Pier

Paul Hobbs initially wanted to raise £5,000 for the charity. - Credit: Grand Pier

Mr Hobbs told the Mercury: "It was touching to be able to hold a ceremony at the Grand Pier which was attended by Weston's Mayor, the pier's directors and members of North Somerset Council.

"When I began fundraising this year I picked £5,000 as a random target, not thinking I would ever reach it but the support has been enormous."

Paul has been fundraising for 26 years and ranks this as one of his best years to date.

He added: "I did not plan to raise so much money and I have since been able to release a Christmas single to raise more money for charity.

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"But to walk the marathon on the date I underwent surgery was special, it shows everyone you can always come back stronger from hard times."

Paul Hobbs with Weston Mayor, James Clayton.

Paul Hobbs with Weston Mayor, James Clayton. - Credit: Grand Pier

In total, Paul raised £10,552 for the British Heart Charity, which saved his live.

Weston Mayor, James Clayton wrote on Facebook that is was "great to be with Paul Hobbs celebrating" the achievement while the Grand Pier's director agreed.

Michelle Michael said: "It was lovely to catch up with Paul again

"The Grand Pier and Paul have had a long association and have supported Paul’s fundraising for years. We were delighted that he chose the Pier for his marathon walk which has also created a record in the Guinness Book of Records.

"We are both delighted about that accolade and we look forward to seeing what else Paul comes up with in terms of fundraising ideas. 

"In the meantime, we hope that Paul has a well-deserved break this Christmas."

Bristol City give signed shirt to man who raised £10,000

Grand Pier director, Michelle Michael. - Credit: Grand Pier

A British Heart Foundation representative attended the event and gifted Paul a signed Bristol City shirt on behalf of the club.

Paul has confirmed that he will take a break from fundraising but will return next year.