TV star Ross Kemp is encouraging people in Somerset to get Up, Down & Dirty for a good cause this autumn.

The EastEnders actor turned author and journalist is famous for his interest in physical fitness and the armed forces. Now he has given his backing to a new muddy run challenge which is raising funds for St. Margaret’s Hospice.

Ross posted a photo of himself wearing an Up, Down & Dirty T-shirt on Twitter, telling his 179,000 followers: “Looking for a fitness challenge? Why not sign up to run, jog or walk 5, 10 or 15k? Great fun and you can support @st_marg at the same time!”

Designed to cater for all fitness levels, Up, Down & Dirty offers a choice of Fun 5k, Tempting 10k and Filthy 15k routes with a variety of obstacles along the way. The event is taking place at Treborough, in the Brendon Hills, on Sunday 28 October, and Aldon, Yeovil, on Sunday 18 November.

Participants are encouraged to raise sponsorship for St. Margaret’s Hospice, which needs to raise over £9.5m a year to fund its end of life care services for people across Somerset.

Up, Down & Dirty at Treborough is proudly sponsored by Western Power Distribution. The company is continuing its support of St. Margaret’s Hospice after a volunteering project earlier this year which saw apprentices renovate the charity’s retail distribution warehouse and collect donations worth around £65,000 from generous households in Somerset.

It comes after participants in the charity’s Glitter Run events in Taunton and Wincanton this summer raised an amazing total of £100,000 through sponsorship and merchandise sales – enough to pay for four whole days of care throughout Somerset, at St. Margaret’s Hospice’s In-patient Units and in the community.

Clare Gallie, director of fundraising, marketing and communications at St. Margaret’s Hospice, said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who took part in the Glitter Run and helped to raise such a fantastic amount of money to care for people in Somerset who are facing a life-limiting illness.

“We’re delighted that Ross Kemp is backing our new Up, Down & Dirty challenge and look forward to as many people as possible joining us to get muddy while supporting their local hospice this autumn. There’s still plenty of time to get training, but you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to join in the fun. Why not challenge your friends and colleagues to get involved?”

Last year St. Margaret’s Hospice supported more than 3,800 people affected by life-limiting illnesses across Somerset.

For more information or to book your place at Up, Down & Dirty, visit www.st-margarets-hospice.org.uk/up-down-and-dirty or call 0845 345 9671.