A MAN who has raised more than £80,000 for charity since 2007 has just completed his latest challenge... which saw him stay silent while at work for four months.

Supermarket worker, Lee Clark, 37, from Shoebury, carried out the mentally gruelling task during his shifts at Tesco express, in Southchurch Road.


Runner - Lee after the Brighton Marathon


Sleepout - the fundraiser rarely rests

He has worked at the store for almost 12 years.

Lee wore a sign around his neck to make customers aware of the challenge to avoid anyone thinking he was being ignorant, and collected donations through a bucket at the counter.

The four-month silence also consisted of not talking to colleagues or customers.

The tough task saw Lee raise £7,235 which will be split between Cancer Research UK, The British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.

Lee told the Echo why he loves fundraising so much.

He said: “Since my first ever fundraiser back in 2007 I just couldn’t get enough, I get such a buzz from raising the money and just love to put a smile on people’s faces.

“It also keeps my mind occupied and you just can’t beat the feeling of giving money to charity; the feeling you get from handing it over is amazing.

“My aim is to raise £100,000 by 2022 and I want to raise £17,000 by the end of the year.”

He added: “I also run a charity football match with my Tesco colleagues every year to raise money for Havens Hospices, in memory of a former colleague, Sue Trusler, who passed away from Cancer in 2013.

“She was an inspiration and did so much for everybody.

“The winning cup is named after her – we call it the Sue Trusler Memorial Cup.”

The happy chappy is a firm favourite amongst customers who know him as ‘Lee from Tesco’ and is best known for his positive and upbeat approach.

As soon as one project ends, Lee is already plotting the next wacky fundraiser.

Some of the plans have included a sleepout to raise money for homeless charities, as well as being locked in a shop crate outside the store for 24 hours with no food or drink.

Last Sunday, Lee completed the Brighton Marathon and raised more than £4,000 for The Ledge Foundation.

This charity was set up after a teenage boy, Lewis Edge, lost full use of his leg after complications during surgery following a broken leg when he was 11 years old.

Supermarket giants, Tesco, also crowned Lee as a Tesco Community Hero for all his selfless work and he was proudly placed in the Tesco Charity Awards Hall of Fame last year.

Fundraiser Lee added: “I really do love my job at Tesco and just love making people happy.

“We don’t just see ourselves as Tesco we see ourselves as the village store.

“The silent challenge is by far one of the hardest, it’s always the one I dread.

“I am quite a bubbly person so it’s really difficult for me to not be able to speak and coverse with the customers.

“It can actually be quite depressing and mentally draining but it’s all worth it.”

Some of Lee’s colleagues describe him as a “crazy character” who brings everybody together... whether he talks or not.

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