Sunderland janitor climbs the height of Mount Everest EIGHT TIMES in tower blocks' stairwells - this is why

Super-janitor Richard Potts has climbed the equivalent of eight Mount Everests to raise £1,000 for two Sunderland charities.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 3:56 pm

Richard works for housing group Gentoo, whose corporate charities are St Benedict’s Hospice and Action on Dementia Sunderland.

To support both organisations and to keep fit during the pandemic, Richard set himself the target of climbing 100,000 stairs. This meant hiking the 17 floors at Gentoo’s Lakeside Towers 211 times.

This equates to exactly 100,436 steps, or 71,740 metres (44 miles) of climbing. Mount Everest is a mere 8,848 metres.

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Done it! Super-janitor Richard Potts at Aldenham Tower, Lakeside where he climbed 100,436 steps. Picture by Stu Norton.

Richard, 52, works at Lakeside, where Gentoo manages apartment blocks including Aberdeen Tower and Aldenham Tower.

He began his incredible feat in the buildings’ stairwells on November 2, finishing on January 29. What makes it even more remarkable is that he was unable to take on any steps for three weeks over Christmas.

Richard said: “When modernisation work started on the lifts at Lakeside Towers I realised I was wasting time waiting for the lift and losing time to complete my daily tasks. So I started climbing the stairs instead.

“It was physically challenging to continuously climb the staircases, and I noticed that there was an opportunity to set myself a personal challenge of doing 100,000 steps up and down the staircases, while raising money for our charities at the same time.

“It’s been tough; especially on my legs! But I’m over the moon with the money that’s been raised from my colleagues and residents living in the towers and I’m sure it’ll be greatly appreciated by St Benedict’s Hospice and Action on Dementia Sunderland.”

Nigel Wilson, Gentoo’s chief executive officer, said: “Our colleagues have fully embraced our corporate charities and Richard’s step challenge is a perfect example of how dedicated they are to raising vital funds for the charities in any way they can.

“It’s brilliant to see him raise such a great amount of money in an innovative, Covid-safe way and I’d like to personally thank Richard for his amazing efforts during this challenge.”

St Benedict’s and Action On Dementia Sunderland were voted for by Gentoo’s 1,100 employees.

In 2020 the workforce raised £17,000 with the charities receiving half each. The group recently announced it would continuing its support for the two throughout 2021, following the fundraising challenges faced by the charities due to coronavirus.

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