A FURLOUGHED chef has run over 381 miles in 40 days to raise money for the Cornerstone Day Centre in Manchester.

Unable to work his usual shifts at the Last Drop Hotel in Bolton, Ben Williams, 20, from Bury, decided to do something meaningful and challenging with his days and began combining his love of running with his commitment to Catholic charity Caritas.

In total, the distance covered by Ben is the equivalent of running from Bury to London's Palace of Westminster and back again.

Ben, whose uncle is a priest, has taken part in Diocesan youth events in the past such as the Youth Sleep Out to support the Cornerstone Day Centre and in February 2019 was part of a Diocesan youth pilgrimage to Rome.

The Cornerstone Day Centre, operated by Caritas Diocese of Salford, has been providing services for people in need since 1991 in a safe, warm, and friendly environment.

Their mission is to provide a place of dignity and respect where people can access essential services, practical support, and opportunities to end homelessness.

Following the success of this challenge, Ben is now aiming to take part in the Manchester Marathon in October.

He said, “Caritas has always been a charity close to my heart. I am grateful to everyone who has donated to this great cause.

“I wanted to prove that young people are dedicated to helping their communities and cannot wait to complete my next challenge.”

Mark Wiggin, director of Caritas, said: “We are hugely thankful to Ben for raising an outstanding amount of money in the truly challenging year of 2020.

“Despite the challenges Covid-19 presents, we know the people across our Diocese, are among the committed, most generous in the country and Ben is the perfect example of that.

“It is vital that we continue to try and help those in need. We are dedicated to helping young people and families in addition to the vulnerable adults served by Cornerstone back on their feet and feeling hope for their future.”

All donations are welcome from across the Caritas diocese which includes Greater Manchester and Lancashire, visit: caritassalford.org.uk