By Jess Stoddard

Two workers are challenging themselves to raise much-needed funds for the Weymouth youth centre Steps.

Andy Barber and Thomas Dent, who work at Magna Housing, are pushing themselves to the limit in a bid to raise money for the centre.

Sadly, Steps was one of 22 youth clubs to lose funding from Dorset County Council in 2016. The centre now relies on fundraising to keep its doors open.

The club opens four evenings a week, offering activities, opportunities, projects, awards and support to many young people aged 13-19, many of whom are disadvantaged, excluded or vulnerable. It also opens for the Saturday Gateway Club for young people with learning disabilities.

After losing a best friend to suicide when he was 16, Mr Dent is challenging himself to swim a marathon within 60 days.

“I believe it is so important that support is in place for young, vulnerable people who have these suicidal thoughts,” he said.

“We need to encourage them to speak about their feelings and support them in any way we can."

He added: “They (Steps) focus on supporting young people in so many ways and have prevented a number of people from committing suicide. I want to do what I can to support them by raising money.”

Mr Dent hopes to raise at least £250 for the youth club.

To complete the challenge, he must swim on at least 52 of the 60 days, swimming half a mile each time.

Mr Barber attacked the exhausting 10k Brutal Run where he battled through mud, water and elephant grass and raised £375 for Steps.

“The Brutal Run really lived up to its name,” he reveals, “but it was worth it to raise as much money as we did.”

He was part of a team of 25 people who, overall, have raised more than £7,000 for the club.

Senior staff at Magna Housing have recognised the pairs' hard work and commitment to the charity and have donated £250 to the club.

To donate towards Mr Dent's challenge, visit by October 25.