A seven-year-old boy’s sponsored bike ride for the Haiti earthquake appeal has now raised over £136,000.
Charlie Simpson, from Fulham, west London, hoped to raise £500 for Unicef UK by doing seven laps of his local park on Sunday.
But his efforts sparked a media frenzy and by this afternoon donations to his JustGiving page had topped £110,000, with an additional £26,000 due to be added through the Gift Aid scheme.
On his JustGiving page, Charlie says: “I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives. I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti.”
His mum Leonora told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “He was really upset by the pictures on TV. He actually burst into tears. He sat on my lap and we had a chat about the things he could do. He decided to do the cycle ride and he made me do a sponsorship form and that was it. We sent it out on the web and it just went everywhere.” She added: “I’m extremely proud of our Charlie.”
Charlie told the BBC: “My legs are a bit sore after the ride, but it was really fun.” By 4.30pm today, 167 pages of donations had been made on JustGiving, with people leaving comments like “Great to see so much good coming from someone so young, well done Charlie, you put a lot of adults to shame” and “Hey Charlie – amazing! Inspirational! well done!”.
Unicef will use the money to provide water to thousands of people. A spokesman said no-one had ever raised so much for the charity in a single day before.