From braving the country’s longest zipwire to spotting bird species, a council worker is celebrating a milestone birthday by completing 60 challenges.

Adrian Smith, who turned 60 last August, is looking to raise £6,000 for Open Doors.

The charity supports persecuted Christians around the world and Adrian has worked as a speaker for Open Doors in far-flung countries such as Iraq, Lebanon and Vietnam.

Adrian, of Kingfisher Close, Shoebury, is more than halfway through his fundraising quest to take on 60 challenges and the tasks have allowed him to get involved in activities he would never have originally considered.

He said: “Before taking on the 60 at 60 challenge, I had already completed a marathon in Lebanon and the Great North Run.

“I wanted to do something to celebrate turning 60 and then it was suggested that I could do 60 things.

“I have taken on a variety of things already, such as going to places I can visit in 60 minutes, spotting 60 bird species and producing a calendar.

“Along with that, I have done more active tasks such as a half-marathon and I am shortly getting involved in the Pilgrims Way walk from Winchester to Canterbury.

“It has been great fun and it has also allowed me to raise awareness of the charity, which is close to my heart.

“I’ve done 44 of the 60 challenges so far and it is a privilege to overcome them.”

Adrian, who works on the planning department at Southend Council, is looking forward to taking on the remainder of his tasks.

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But Adrian, who attends Shoebury’s Friars Baptist Church and has raised more than £4,000 so far, admits he is nervous about heading over the Essex-Kent border to Bluewater in July.

He added: “These challenges have pushed me out of my comfort zone.

“I’m going to Bluewater in the summer, where I will brave England’s longest zipwire.

“As someone who doesn’t like heights, it’s not the best of ideas and it’s 700m long.

“However, it will help to raise money and awareness of Open Doors, which is the most important thing.

“The zipwire is what I’m most worried about but this journey proves that I am doing things I would never have done before.”

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