Children across the country are being encouraged to camp in their gardens or indoor ‘home dens’ this weekend – and it’s all for a great cause.
Max Woosey, 11, from Devon, has slept outside in a tent for an entire year. The schoolboy started camping in the garden at the beginning of the pandemic to raise money for North Devon Hospice, who cared for his family friend Rick.
Before he died from cancer, Rick gifted Max a tent and told him to have “an adventure” with it. Max has since raised over £285,000 for the hospice and is now encouraging other kids to take part in “Max’s Big Camp Out” on March 27.
“We’re incredibly proud of what he’s done and the resilience he’s shown,” Max’s mum, Rachael Woosey, told the BBC.
“He knew what he wanted to do from the beginning, we didn’t think it was a good idea but he persevered with it and the fact that all of it has been led by him, not us, is amazing.”
The Big Camp Out is designed to celebrate one year of getting through lockdown restrictions. Children can take part indoors or outdoors and are encouraged to raise a bit of money for charity during the fun.
“I’d like to raise awareness that many children across the globe have found lockdown and Covid tough to cope with,” Max says on his JustGiving page.
“At the beginning of my camp out, I was focused on my friend Rick, but as I reach one year in the tent, and it’s coincided with Covid, I really understand what it’s like to be isolated from your friends. We all understand why it’s been necessary, but some young people have found it really tough going. ”
More than 2,000 people have followed Max’s challenge on Facebook, via the page The Boy In The Tent. Celebs including Jonny Wilkinson and Bear Grylls have even sent Max videos of support.
To find out more about The Big Camp Out or donate, visit JustGiving.