JLR worker becomes Spider-Man to cheer up kids in self isolation

A Widnes man decided to dress up as Spider-Man and jog through the town to cheer up children at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Jaguar Land Rover worker Neil James Mercer has been at home for the past two weeks since his employer closed their Halewood factory due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 38-year-old was due to go out for a jog on Friday when a relative suggested he wore a Spider-Man outfit to try and cheer people up.

But when locals started filming him and taking photographs, the run soon developed traction on social media.

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Neil has received hundreds of messages and likes on Facebook, and raised over £1200 for the NHS.

And now he plans to repeat the stunt.

He said to the ECHO: "It was one of those things that just happened by chance.

"So many families started messaging me on Facebook to ask me to call around .

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"I initially planned to go around to a few friends' houses but ended up running across the entire town.

"I think I ran seven miles on the day.

JLR worker Neil James Mercer went for a jog around Widnes to raise cash for the NHS and cheer kids up

"For me cheering up kids stuck inside during the lockdown has been amazing and raising cash for all the heroes who work for the NHS too."

In a message on social media Neil posted: "No way is this possibly am so happy and emotional.

"Thank you all so much already reached my target of £1000 for my run for NHS next Thursday anymore people pledging will go even more to help the NHS thank you all so much I really am taking away with this what a beautiful town we live in.

"Thank you to others running out there batman and the other amazing spiderman you have done yourselves so, so proud well done your pictures and runs are unbelievable."

About the virus
A coronavirus is a type of virus.

As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
Advice for travellers from Wuhan
If you have returned from Wuhan in the last 14 days you are advised to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses.

Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city.
If you develop symptoms
If you develop a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or difficulty breathing, you should follow the advice above and are asked not to leave your home until you been given advice by a clinician.

Neil told the ECHO that the Spider-Man run was started by a Stockport man Jason Baird, who has now become a viral sensation.

Neil said: "Jason started this off in Stockport and has has been featured on CNN and other international media. He has messaged me which was nice.

!The support and response has been amazing and I will be back out this Thursday.

!But my main message is for people to follow the government message and stay in to save lives."

JLR worker Neil James Mercer went for a jog around Widnes to raise cash for the NHS and cheer kids up

On Thursday Neil plans to visit the homes of around 20 children, who cannot go out under any circumstance due to underlying health conditions and special needs.

He said: "I might have to borrow a van to get around the town so I can visit every home.

"I will be waving through the window."

To support Neil go here

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