Schoolboy, 11, raises £275,000 by sleeping in tent for a year

Chris Parsons
·News Editor
·3 min read
Max Woosey, aged 11, camping out in his tent in his garden in Braunton, Devon. (SWNS)
Max Woosey, aged 11, camping out in his tent in his garden in Braunton, Devon. (SWNS)

A schoolboy who slept in a tent in his garden for a year will end his marathon camp out this weekend after raising £275,000.

Max Woosey, 11, began camping in his garden on March 27 last year in memory his friend and neighbour, Rick, who sadly died in February 2019.

Rick, who was 74, had given Max a tent and told him to have an adventure with it, so he decided to camp out in the garden of his family home in Braunton, Devon.

Max has now raised over £275,000, but is calling time on his epic effort ahead this weekend having camped out for a whole 12 months.

The determined schoolboy was spurred on during his fundraising efforts thanks for video messages from celebrity supporters Bear Grylls and Jonny Wilkinson.

Max is raising money for North Devon Hospice, who cared for Rick in his final days.

Max Woosey had originally hoped to simply 'raise a few pounds for his local hospice'. (SWNS)
Max Woosey had originally hoped to simply 'raise a few pounds for his local hospice'. (SWNS)

And for one final fundraising push, Max will be hosting 'Max's Big Camp Out', a worldwide event which encourages children around the globe to take part.

His Mum Rachael Woosey said: "I have to stop and pinch myself to take in just how big this has become.

"Max started out with the intention of raising a few pounds for our local Hospice.

"But to mark a year in his tent he decided he’d like to raise awareness of children’s mental health during lockdown.

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"He knows what it’s like to be isolated from friends, not to be able to play team sports and that sort of thing, so he’s doing this for all those children who have found lockdown, indeed the whole Covid crisis, so tough."

Describing his messages of support from the stars, Max added: “I couldn’t believe it.

"I watch all Bear Grylls stuff on tv and I love rugby.

Max was inspired to take on the challenge after being given the tent by a family friend and neighbour who told him to 'go and have an adventure with it' before passing away. (SWNS)
Max was inspired to take on the challenge after being given the tent by a family friend and neighbour who told him to 'go and have an adventure with it' before passing away. (SWNS)

"I‘ve got a few books about Jonny Wilkinson and his autobiography in my tent, which I read when I’m not reading the Beano.

"It was epic that they both supported me, saying carry on kid, you can do it!’

Max has slept in a tent in his family’s back garden every single night - even over Christmas, on his birthday, and through winter storms.

His Dad, Royal Marine Mark Woosey said: "I thought he meant just for a few days. I couldn’t believe it when he started camping out every night, for weeks on end.

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"Max has been on an amazing journey. It has brought out both his empathy for others and his steely determination.

"What’s really great about Max’s Big Camp Out is that it gives children a chance to do something really positive, when all they have heard for months on end is you can’t do this, and you can’t do that."

Anyone who wishes to donate to Max's cause can still visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/max-woosey1

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