Watch as Jarrow schoolboy Bobby Charlton as he steps out in solo Junior Great North Run for Hebburn Helps

A kind-hearted schoolboy has raised hundreds – and received high praise – after he pounded the pavements for the South Tyneside food bank.

Six-year-old Bobby Charlton has raised over £500 for Hebburn Helps after he decided to take on the Junior Great North Run on his own.

The Bede Burn Primary School pupil ran 1.5miles – the distance of the race - along the South Shields seafront on Saturday, August 1 – joined by food bank founder Angie Comerford for moral support.

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Bobby was hoping to take part in the 2020 Junior Great North Run in September, which was sadly cancelled earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bobby Charlton completed the Junior Great North Run on his own after the event was cancelled this year.

But he was adamant he still wanted to raise funds for the food bank – which provides a lifeline for thousands of families across the borough.

Bobby and Angie were cheered on as they ran from the Water's Edge pub to Little Haven in their alien fancy dress costumes – completing the route in under 20 minutes.

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The co-founder of Hebburn Helps said the youngster did not stop smiling the whole way through.

"It was such a pleasure and an honour to complete the race with Bobby,” said Angie.

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Bobby Charlton, six and Hebburn Helps co-founder Angie Comerford ran 1.5miles along South Shields seafront.

"He made me smile the whole time with his chattering and it was priceless seeing the smiles we put on people’s faces as we ran past them.”

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Bobby goes to Hedworth Gymnastics and Monkton Athletics Club, but hadn’t done much running before taking up the challenge,

He was inspired by his headteacher, Helen Smith, who shaved her head in aid of Hebburn Helps during the lockdown - and mum Samantha Montgomery who donates to the charity whenever she can.

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Throughout the pandemic Hebburn Helps delivered thousands of hot meals, food parcels and packed lunches to families and vulnerable residents.

Bobby completed the race in fancy dress.
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“Bobby is the most amazing little boy I know to want to help us at his age,” added Angie.

”I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported us and cheered us on along the way and of course, to everyone who put something in the pot.”

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A message from the Editor

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Bobby hadn't done much running before taking on the challenge.

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