Six-year-old Jarrow schoolboy takes on solo Junior Great North Run raising hundreds for Hebburn Helps
A six-year-old fundraiser will put his best foot forward for a South Tyneside food bank this weekend.
Bede Burn Primary School pupil, Bobby Charlton will run 1.5miles along the South Shields seafront, after raising more than £350 for Hebburn Helps.
Bobby was due to take part in the 2020 Junior Great North Run in September, but the event was cancelled earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The six-year-old was adamant he still wanted to fundraise for the food bank, which provides a lifeline for thousands of families across the borough.
On Saturday, August 1 Bobby will run the distance of the Junior Great North Run from the Water's Edge pub to Little Haven, joined by Hebburn Helps co-founder Angie Comerford – who offered to run alongside him in fancy dress, for moral support.
Bobby is a keen gymnast at Hedworth Gymnastics and usually attends Monkton Athletics Club, but he hadn’t been much of a runner before taking up the challenge, says mum, Samantha Montgomery.
"He’s excited about it, but he is a little bit nervous. It will be quite challenging for him so I’m really proud of him for taking it on,” she said.
The youngster was inspired by his headteacher, Helen Smith, who shaved her head in aid of Hebburn Helps during the lockdown.
Samantha added: “It’s a charity very close to our heart – I try my best to take donations down when I can, so he knew about the work they do – and then Mrs Smith did her head shave, which he thought was amazing.
"His target was £200 which he never expected to reach, so he’s just really pleased with the amount of money he’s raised.”
Throughout the pandemic Hebburn Helps delivered thousands of hot meals, food parcels and packed lunches to families and vulnerable residents.
Angie commented: "Bobby is amazing for wanting to help us in this way. It’s going to be such an honour to do this and I really can’t wait to share this experience with him.
"Wanting to help at such a young age is fantastic and I’m so very grateful.”
Donate to Bobby’s Just Giving page here