A personal trainer based in Howwood has helped coin in thousands of pounds for a cause close to his heart.

Mark Butler, who runs MBPT Fitness from the Bowfield Hotel and Country Club, has been using his motivational skills to highlight men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer.

The 36-year-old recruited dozens of own clients and friends for this year’s challenge, which saw each of them completing 5k of exercise each day during November.

He was inspired by the Movember movement, which focuses on men’s health, as well as his 76-year-old dad’s own battle with prostate cancer for many years.

Mark, from Kilmacolm, told The Gazette: "This year we managed to raise £6,200, which is a great amount of money.

The Gazette:

"The reason I got involved in the Movember charity is because my dad had prostate cancer and ended up having to get his prostate removed just over a year ago.

“He's had a few wee issues since having it removed, but on the whole, he's doing really well.”

Mark first started supporting the Movember movement back in 2016 before getting others involved in his fundraising challenges from 2019 onwards.

The dad-of-two said: “The weather wasn't kind for us for at least a couple of weeks in November, so that definitely made it trickier this year.

"However, the ones who hadn't been doing as much physical activity as the others said they lost weight and felt great at the end of it.

The Gazette:

“The main objective is about raising awareness of prostate cancer and men's mental health, but there are also health benefits for people who are taking part in it as well.”

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Mark and his supporters, they have raised more than £30,000 for the Movember movement over the past eight years.

Mark added: “I have heard some sad stories this year of people who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“So many men are reluctant to go and see a GP but I would encourage them to make that appointment and get checked out.

“If it’s not for yourself, do it for your family and friends.”