A MEAT-LOVING dad-of-two has raised £3,500 for disabled children by adopting a vegan diet for a month.

Rhys Lawrence, of Amherst Crescent, Barry Island, raised money by changing his diet after he was challenged to go vegan by friends.

The 35-year-old, who works for Legal and General, in Cardiff, raised the sum for Caudwell Children, a national charity providing practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

Mr Lawrence said: “I eat a lot of food fast food, like burgers, and I do overindulge in eating meat.

“I’m a real carnivore and on a night out one of my pals was explaining how they had gone vegan for a month.

“Another friend said that there would be no way that I could without meat for a month, let alone go vegan.

“I like a good bet. I told my friends that if I didn’t keep the vegan diet up for a month I would shave my head."

Caudwell Children funds sensory equipment for disabled children; provides specialist wheelchairs, car seats, tricycles, sporting equipment and each year takes 25 children with life-limiting conditions on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Disney World, in Florida.

My Lawrence said turning vegan for a month was challenging at times.

He said: “I’m not a huge fan of things like mushrooms or courgettes and I don’t find the meat replacements very appetising.

“The worst part was not being able to eat dairy as I love my cheese. The vegan ice cream was really expensive.”

He also organised a dress down day at work and more than 700 people took part.

He raised £2,300 and received funding from his employers to bring the figure to £3,500.

Mr Lawrence said: “I’m delighted with this figure. My uncle had meningitis when he was four years old and now, in his 30s, he’s in full time care.

“I’ve seen close up the challenges those with a disability face and I know that this money will be vital in helping Caudwell Children to support even more disabled children.”

Head of events at Caudwell Children, Kerrie Davies said: “People do all sorts of things to raise money for the charity but I can honestly say this is the first time anyone had gone vegan on our behalf.

“I really admire Rhys as he’s had to show a considerable amount of will power to achieve his goal.

“He’s a real meat eater and he must have found the temptation difficult at times.”