Boy raises £640,000 spending 500 nights in a tent

Max Woosey, 11, could now repeat his marathon camping feat

An 11-year-old boy inspired to raise money after a neighbour died from cancer has spent 500 nights in a tent.

Max Woosey, of south-west England, raised £640,000 ($883,830), more than £500,000 of which came in direct donations to his fundraising page, for a hospice in Devon and said he might consider another 500 nights under the canvas.

For his 500th night, Max, from Braunton, Devon, built a special sleeping den from wood and leaves.

“I’ve raised over £600,000. I don’t think it’s caught up with me just yet," he said on Wednesday.

“I made the den out of some wood. We put some wood together and put leaves over it. It wasn’t too bad. The only time I ever came in was the summer. I can do the cold."

When asked about the possibility of sleeping out for another 500 nights, he said: “100 per cent definitely.”

“It feels amazing to reach 500 nights," he said. "It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long because so many cool things have happened since I started camping. I never ever thought that it would last this long but I absolutely love it."

His father Mark, a Royal Marine, praised his son’s efforts and said he was ready for the camping to continue.

“I am entirely relaxed," he said. "He sleeps well in the tent and he enjoys it. My wife manages to sleep with one eye and ear open.

“I think he likes the freedom of sleeping in the tent. Nobody is checking exactly what time he goes to sleep. He has a bit of control."

Max began camping on March 28, 2020, with the aim of raising £100 after hearing about regular fundraising events for North Devon Hospice being cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

His neighbour Rick Abbott, who had terminal cancer, was cared for at the hospice.

“My friend Rick gave me his tent before he died and made me promise to have an adventure, so that’s what I’m doing," Max wrote on his fundraising page.

The hospice estimates that Max has raised more than half of what has been lost in donations owing to the pandemic.

One year after starting his feat, about 1,000 children from as far away as the US and Singapore joined him camping.

He was also invited to camp next to the lion’s enclosure at London Zoo and in the garden of No 10 Downing Street, where he met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Updated: August 11th 2021, 10:48 AM
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