Coronavirus: Boy, 10, has camped in his garden since lockdown began to raise money for North Devon Hospice

May 27, 2020

A 10-year-old boy has been sleeping in a tent in his garden since lockdown began to raise money for the hospice who cared for his friend.

Max Woosey began his campout on 28 March - just five days after the UK entered its coronavirus lockdown.

He decided to sleep in a tent to raise money for North Devon Hospice in memory of his neighbour Rick, who gave it to him before he died on 14 February.

The youngster, who lives near Barnstaple, only comes inside for his homeschooling lessons and to have dinner and a shower.

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Nearly nine weeks into his challenge, his mother Rachael says he has "no intention of giving up" after raising £2,275 for the hospice.

She said: "This was all his idea, and all came from him. He started his camp out on 28 March and straight away he said he'd do it for the whole of lockdown, which at that point was only three weeks.

"Of course, it's been extended again and again, but he's never shown any sign of wanting to give in, despite the wind and the rain! We're just so incredibly proud of him.

"His resilience is really impressive. Each night he just needs his torch, a teddy and a couple of Beano comics, then he's good to go!"

North Devon Hospice didn't just look after Rick, they also cared for his wife Sue who died of cancer a few years ago, she added.

At the beginning of this year, Rick also became ill and it soon became clear he "didn't have long left".

But Mrs Woosey said the hospice team worked "around the clock" to make sure he could be at home for his final weeks.

She added: "It's fitting that Max is now using a tent that Rick gave him to raise money for the hospice."

Hospices were removed from the NHS supply chain in March to prioritise hospitals in the fight against COVID-19, according to the charity Hospice UK.

This meant bosses were forced to turn to the private sector for personal protective equipment (PPE).

Stephen Roberts, chief executive of North Devon Hospice, said of Max's efforts: "Everyone at the hospice is blown away by what this inspiring 10-year-old is doing. For such a young lad to care so much about helping others is heart-warming.

"Every pound he raises is vital right now, because of course the demand for our hospice care has risen considerably, but the ability to raise funds has been decimated due to the current situation."

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