AN INSPIRATIONAL fundraiser has announced his most successful year to date as he continues his journey to raising £1 million for charity.

Lee Clark, 42-year-old from Southend, has been fundraising since 2007 after hosting a fancy dress day for charity and noticing the happiness it brought to people.

16 years on, the dad-of-two daughters has now raised more than £308,000 for several charities across south Essex.

Lee has also confirmed 2023 was his most successful fundraising year so far, raising a total of £84,923.

Echo: Fundraising - Lee Clark at the top of KilimanjaroFundraising - Lee Clark at the top of Kilimanjaro (Image: Lee Clark)

He said: “2023 alone has been my most successful fundraising year.

“It has been an incredible year of fundraising, and I am still in shock to have raised such a huge amount.

“My family also sacrifice so much time away from me because I am off about fundraising and supporting community events. I love them so much.

“It is all because of the amazing people who believe in me and constantly show their support. Without all this help, it wouldn’t be possible.

“I can’t thank everyone enough.”

The money raised in 2023 was through a number of different challenges by Lee, including one of his biggest fundraising efforts to date climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

He also held a three-month sponsored silence at work, took part in a charity sleepout spending almost two days on the streets, as well as several charity football matches with his club The Farke Knight Rises CFC.

Echo: Completed - Lee with his London Marathon medalCompleted - Lee with his London Marathon medal (Image: Lee Clark)

Lee is now continuing his aim to “raise £1 million before he leaves this Earth”.

He added: “My highlight was Kilimanjaro.

“I will never ever forget that challenge and how the community really came together to help me achieve that climb.

“I am so proud of myself. Never in a million years did I expect to raise more than £80,000 in a single year. I was buzzing when I raised £240 in 2007.

“I believe fundraising is my calling, and my aim continues to be to raise £1 million before I die.”