THREE friends raised £5,000 to support a little boy's recovery from gene therapy – and they worked hard for it.

Phil McDonough, Gareth Rowland and Nick Lea took part in the Man v Mountain challenge, a 22-mile event which saw them take on tasks, including hiking up and down Mount Snowdon in Wales.

The group, who have been friends for 20 years, decided to raise the money in aid of Ted Grove-Welsh after one of their pals mentioned he was her godson.

The nine-year-old, who lives in Swindon, is one of only six children in the UK who suffers from AADC – a genetic condition meaning he can't sit, stand or walk. He is only one of 100 sufferers in the world.

Phil, an executive buyer for Platinum Recovery in South Marston, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated.

“Money is tight for people, but it was great that they dug deep no matter what money they had.”

The challenge took the group six hours to complete and included water challenges alongside the hiking.

“The first thing we had to do was jump about 20ft into a lake and then swim to the other side,” Paul added: “We started running but then we ended up walking.

“We were a bit nervous to start with, but we were elated when we actually finished it. Absolutely chuffed.”

Ted recently travelled to Poland for gene therapy, the first person in the UK to do so.

His mum Zoe Grove-Welsh said: “Ted's fallen in love with the guys.

“We are eternally grateful. They are real life heroes.”

The money raised will go towards Ted’s recovery from his recent operations.

“It will help us with Ted’s physiotherapy," said Zoe.

“We’ll be making some changes to the house to put in the equipment that will help him.

“And we’ll be using the money to make some memories. When we were told he was going to have the operation it was three weeks’ notice.

“We had to cancel our summer holiday so the money will go towards some day trips and having some quality family time.”

Along with the money raised during the challenge, Phil arranged a special surprise for Ted.

He tracked down Ted's favourite children's TV star Mr Tumble online and persuaded him to record him a personalised message.

Zoe added:“It was like every birthday and Christmas rolled into one. He played it 15 times in a row.”

“We’ve made some lifelong friends and we can’t say how grateful we are, it means the absolute world.”