A STUDENT has responded to a call of duty by helping a hospice raise funds with a 24-hour non-stop gaming session.

Luke Rutherford plans to stream the marathon session in aid of St Teresa’s Hospice to mark his 22nd birthday.

He will be joined along the way by friends and family as he battles his way through Call of Duty, Final Fantasy and Destiny 2, while trying to build as big a total as possible with his Minecraft skills.

“Friends will be joining me at particular times to play certain games but I’ll be the only one doing the full 24 hours,” said the student, of Newton Aycliffe, who is studying cyber security and digital forensics at the University of the West of England in Bristol.

“I have been gaming since I was a child, since someone gave me a PS1 and then I got my own PS2. I lead the university’s gaming team and came third in a recent competition and 2,070th out of 30,000 in an international race, which I was happy with.

“We have all been inside a lot during the pandemic and I wanted to do something special for my birthday. I know how much great work the hospice does and that they must have really been suffering financially during the lockdowns.”

St Teresa’s Hospice needs to raise £3m a year to provide free in-patient and community care for people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.

An emergency appeal, launched at the start of the pandemic, is still running and donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/campaign/hugtostts.

Chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “It is so heart-warming when young people appreciate our work and the plight we have endured during the pandemic, when our traditional fund raising endeavours, through our chain of charity shops and events, were virtually wiped out.

“For Luke to do this on his birthday really is above and beyond and I hope he enjoys the experience as much as we will appreciate his efforts.”

Anyone wishing to support Luke can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lukevantage which is also where his 24 hour gaming session will be streamed live over March 9-10.