A LOVING son hopes his dad was watching over him as he battled gail force winds and pouring rain to raise money for charity.

As part of his bid to raise £1,000 for Parkinson’s UK, David Harley, 28, pulled on his walking boots to take on the Seven Sisters Challenge in memory of his dad, Jim, who died from the disease in March.

The eight-mile route went through the Friston Forest, East Dean and along the dramatic Seven Sisters cliffs near Eastbourne, in east Sussex.

The challenge was not for the faint hearted, with the total ascent of the route standing at approximately 1,450ft.

A group of David’s friends also put their best foot forward to join him on the walk, including Marc Rudkins, Lauren Pill, Sarah Wright, Kathryn Branch, Andrew Brinkman and James Padgham.

David, of Perry Street, Billericay, said: “At one point I thought ‘I can’t do this’, the wind was taking my breath away, but I kept thinking about my dad and looking up at the sky thinking ‘you better be watching this’.

“When he was alive I never thought about charity work but it’s definitely given me some closure, it’s been a tough few months but now I’ve done the walk I feel happy in myself.”

Jim, who was 72 when he died, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2002.

David said he “lived life to the full” and was a keen gardener.

He said: “It only hit home when he died how much he was loved in Billericay. People were really upset.

“He worked for Marconi in Chelmsford for 38 years then he helped out in the paper shop so people knew him from there, he was such a bright and cheery person.”

• David is also organising a fundraising event at the Red Lion, in High Street, Billericay, on Saturday, July 14, at 7.30pm.

Eight of his friends will be auctioned off for a date and there will also be a cake sale and DJ providing entertainment on the night.

To make a donation for David’s walk, visit www.justgiving.com/David-Harley1984