THE UK’s first ever disabled strongman has raised more than £1,000 for charity while smashing his NHS weightlifting target.

Gary Clarke, who is from Chard, organises the Britain’s Disabled Strongman Competition and founded the contest.

With this summer’s event put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic, Gary decided to take on his own fundraising challenge.

Between Monday, May 11, and Friday, May 15, the strongman set out to complete 250 Atlas stone reps.

Normally Gary would do 25 reps in a week, but by the end of the week he had hit 300.

Meanwhile, his JustGiving page has received £1,070 in donations.

Gary said: “A big thank you to all that contributed.

“It’s crazy what I’ve just done, when you sit back and think about.”

The page is still live for people to make a donation. Go to

He added: “I had my goal and I was hell bent on achieving it. Big thanks to everyone who had supported me through this challenge and sponsored.

“I’m battered and bruised but it’s been worth every second, and a pleasure to help in the current climate.”

Cash raised will go to Love Musgrove, the charity arm of Musgrove Park Hospital.

Each year the hospital treats over 450,000 patients through its emergency department, on its wards and through its outpatient services.

“To raise £1,000 is a great testament to the people who have supported,” said Gary.

“Especially at this time when things are hard for many people financially, I thank you all once again.”

Over the five days Gary lifted 18 tonnes - equivalent to a double decker bus.

Zoe Steer, head of fundraising at Love Musgrove, said: “We want to say a huge thanks to Gary for his incredible support of Love Musgrove in taking on such an inspiring challenge to raise money.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the response from the local community, who have been coming together to support Love Musgrove.

“Without fundraisers like Gary, we would be unable to fund those little extras that help to improve the experience of patients and their families, and of course our amazing NHS colleagues.”