A retired train driver has said he is "gobsmacked and very proud" after raising more than £8,000 for a children's hospice through his employment challenge.

Tony Harris from Ipswich arranged to work 74 days with individuals and businesses throughout the year, donating everything he earned through working to East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

During his challenge, he completed a vast variety of jobs – including serving customers in a café, packing bags in a supermarket, airport taxi runs, painting, gardening, handing out bus timetables and even catering for a Christening party.

In total, Mr Harris raised £8,500 including Gift Aid.

East Anglian Daily Times: Tony HarrisTony Harris (Image: EACH)

He said: "My original goal had been to raise £5,000 so to finish with £8,500 was beyond my wildest dreams.

"I'm gobsmacked and very proud.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my challenge and found it immensely satisfying.

"There was a real mix and I met some fantastic, generous and interesting people, with lots of stories to tell.

"There were some jobs I really enjoyed, including working on the Adnams stall at the Suffolk Show.

"It was a challenge as I had to act as if I was an expert on the different types and tastes of beers and spirits, even though I'm teetotal.

"Another was my first day at the Geek Retreat café, where the staff and customers made me feel so welcome."

East Anglian Daily Times: Tony Harris with EACH Community Fundraiser Ali ButlerTony Harris with EACH Community Fundraiser Ali Butler (Image: EACH)

Mr Harris, who lives in Rushmere St Andrew, chose to raise funds for EACH due to previously living near The Treehouse in Ipswich.

He added: "I can't begin to imagine how parents must feel when they have children with life-threatening conditions and want to do whatever I can to help."

Ali Butler, EACH's senior community fundraiser for Suffolk and east Essex, said: "I'd like to say a big well done, thank you and congratulations to the amazing Tony.

"His fundraising will make a huge difference and he should feel very proud of all he’s achieved.

"We’re so grateful for his hard work and have loved hearing his about challenge."