A TEENAGER from York is taking on the challenge of climbing the equivalent of the world’s tallest mountain from his own home - in aid of two charities.

Luke Smith, 14, is using the staircase in his home in the South Bank area of the city to climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest.

The Millthorpe School pupil is ascending the 15 stairs in his home 2,950 times, a total climb of 8,848 metres.

Luke said: “I wanted to make something out of a bad situation, stay fit during the lockdown and help good causes at the same time.”

The teenager, who plays for York Volleyball Club and is a member of the England under-17 volleyball squad, has set out to raise money for homeless charity Shelter and NHS Charities Together.

Luke went on to say: “NHS Charities Together are supporting the frontline workers who are caring for us during coronavirus and I chose Shelter to help the homeless in this time of crisis.

“That seemed appropriate when we are all being told to stay at home to prevent spreading the virus.”

Luke began his climb during the school Easter holidays and is completing around 400 steps every day.

Luke’s mother, Janet Harrison, praised her son’s fundraising efforts.

She said: “Luke is sports mad and he wanted to do something useful with his time while he is shut indoors.

“We’re really proud of him, but I think we will need a new stair carpet by the time he has finished.”

Speaking on his why he chose to support Shelter and NHS Charities Together, Luke said: “The money raised from my challenge will go to Shelter to help the homeless during this time of crisis.

“We can stay at home but rough sleepers don’t have one.

“I am climbing my stairs for NHS Charities Together because I want to help NHS workers stay safe while protecting us.”

Luke has set up a Just Giving pages for people to help him to support his two chosen charities.

To access these pages and donate to the teenager’s efforts, visit either: https://bit.ly/34S3ZFX or https://bit.ly/3eHfft6