A New Eltham dad has taken fundraising for the NHS to the next level after challenging himself to row the London marathon, all from the top of his van.

Jim Tilley, 57, said he wanted to do something to show his appreciation for the "wonderful NHS staff that are working so hard at this difficult time."

Jim is a self-employed builder so is currently unable to work, so cooked up an idea to row the length-equivalent of the London Marathon, which was unsurprisingly cancelled in the early days of the UK coronavirus outbreak.

His daughter said he was inspired by the Thursday night clapping to do something to say thank you, and decided under a week ago this was what he was going to do.

So despite barely any training, on April 10, Good Friday, the 57-year-old dad climbed on top of his van parked in the driveway where a rowing machine branded with 'NHS Heroes' was placed.

Then, in sweltering heat and with music blasting, Jim rowed the entire 26 miles of the London Marathon.

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His fundraising efforts were supported by family and neighbours with cheers and party poppers, and the whole 'NHS marathon row' was streamed live on Facebook.

Jim said he was "amazed" at the turnout on the day and online support, and that it was "great motivation with everybody cheering me on."

"The ending was very emotional and I felt so good to have really pushed myself for a great cause.

He added: "I would like to thank all my family, friends and neighbours at Montbelle for all their donations.

"But most importantly a huge thank you to the NHS and all the volunteers who are getting us through to this pandemic."

A fundraising page was set up for others to donate to the cause - the page's original target was set at £500, but it quickly smashed four figures, and currently sits at £1,133.

In a post at around 5:30pm on the day, Jim stated on the JustGiving page: "I have now completed.the NHS marathon row and want to thank everyone that donated.

"The support has been amazing, it’s such a great cause, thank you so much. I’m off for a beer now."

If you'd like to donate to Jim's cause, go online to justgiving.com/fundraising/jimtilley.