A DEAF man will take part in a series of physical challenges over the coming year as he helps to raise £15,000 for charity.

Steve Bell, 29, of George Lane in South Woodford will put himself to the test for the Dominique Conte Foundation, which provides support for hearing impaired children and young people in Hertfordshire

Mr Bell, who has a cochlear implant, was diagnosed with hearing loss aged two and with tinnitus in his early teens, but this did not prevent him from studying business at university and travelling across America and the Far East.

He now works for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) in its sensory services department in Woodford Green.

Mr Bell said: “I wanted to get involved in this because I can relate to the barriers that young people and adults can encounter with hearing loss.

“I was born hearing impaired and I actually lost what hearing I had left about two years ago. For me it's about pushing the boundaries of what I can achieve.

“I'd like young people and children with hearing loss to look up to me and to Dominique as role models and see that losing hearing doesn't have to hold you back.”

Mr Bell will be climbing England's highest peak – Scafell Pike – in August, along with cycling Hadrian's Wall in Scotland a week later.

Later in the year he will be rowing, cycling and running the marathon distance of 26 miles, as well as doing a 10k run.

The foundation was set up by Dominique Conte from Hertford, who was born profoundly deaf.

She will undertake the first of the challenges – a tandem skydive – on June 13 and is hoping to raise the money to fund a trip for deaf people and their families to travel to Florida and swim with dolphins next summer.

Mr Bell added: “Dominque and I both volunteer at the National Society for Deaf Children and a little while ago we met and became friends.

“She explained that it was her dream to set up a charity to help deaf children in her area and I knew that that was something I wanted to be a part of.”

For more information and to donate to Steve's fundraising efforts, visit www.12months12chellanges.org.