An ex-army man who will celebrate his 47th birthday this month is daring to run on a treadmill for 24- hours straight to help a little girl.

Ray Betts was inspired after his wife told him about a pupil with a "heart of gold" at Midfield Primary in St Paul's Cray where she teaches.

The girl, Olivia Falconer, eight, has cerebral palsy and needs equipment and physio sessions so she might be able to walk one day.

Her family is raising funds to support Olivia, and once Ray heard about her story, he decided to act.

Ray modestly played down his 24-hour treadmill challenge, but acknowledged he will struggle to walk properly for a couple of days afterwards.

"I will spend the whole time on the treadmill, apart from going to the toilet," he told News Shopper.

"I will eat and drink on it, but it won’t be too bad."

READ MORE: Family of Beckenham boy with cerebral palsy fundraising for surgery

Ray, who served in the Royal Engineers for nine years, is going to be visited by his former army mates who will encourage him on the day.

His run starts at 12noon on February 18 at his Energie Fitness gym in Elmfield Road, Bromley.

Ray has completed some wild challenges before, such as when his feet were left in a "bloody mess" when he ran 20 hours from London to Brighton.

"It is just a mindset," he said. "This one will be different because it’s on a treadmill and I won’t see any outside views.

"I will have my phone kept on charged and will listen to music to take my mind off it."

He added: "The hardest part will be the evening until the morning when we re-open. It will be dark, I will feel tried and it will be very quiet.

"That is when I will watch a couple of films."

ALSO: London South East College helps Bromley boy with cerebral palsy

Buckets for donations will be in the gym on the day and visitors are welcome to pop in and offer support.

MP for Orpington, Jo Johnson, has sent Ray a good luck message.

He said: "The best of luck to Ray as he attempts 24 hours on a treadmill. I hope everyone who can will choose to donate to help support Olivia and her family."

Ray, who is originally from Nottingham, became the manager of Energie Fitness in September last year.