Boy, 10, raises £60,000 for local hospice after sleeping outside in a tent for more than 200 days

Cub Scout, 10, spends 200 nights sleeping in his back garden to honour dying wish of cancer-stricken elderly neighbour, 74, who gave him a tent and told him to ‘have an adventure in it’

  • Max Woosey has raised £60k sleeping in the tent in his garden since lockdown
  • The 10-year-old began his ‘adventure’ on March 28 to raise money for a hospice  
  • He has decided to extend challenge and will attempt to sleep outside for a year

A boy has spent more than 200 days sleeping outside in a tent in his garden in memory of two family friends.

Max Woosey from Braunton, Devon has raised £60,000 for a local hospice by camping outside since the beginning of lockdown.

The 10-year-old was inspired to sleep out every night in search of an ‘adventure’ after his friend and neighbour Rick Abbott gave him a tent shortly before he died in February. 

Rick, who was 74, told Max: ‘I want you to promise me you’ll have an adventure in here’, before he died from cancer. 

Max Woosey, 10, from Braunton, Devon, began his ‘adventure’ on March 28 to raise money for a hospice and has since spent more than 200 days sleeping outside

Max began his adventure on March 28 after hearing hospice fundraising events for the North Devon Hospice were being cancelled.

He has since raised more than £60,000 for the hospice that cared for Rick and his wife, Sue, in their final days.  

The schoolboy who lives near Barnstaple, only comes inside for homeschooling lessons and to have dinner and a shower.    

For company in the tent, he has his teddy bears, copies of the Beano comic and a torch in case he needs to find his back door key.

Max took on the challenge to raise money for the North Devon Hospice, that cared for two family friends in their final days, after hearing that hospice fundraising events were being cancelled

Max took on the challenge to raise money for the North Devon Hospice, that cared for two family friends in their final days, after hearing that hospice fundraising events were being cancelled

The schoolboy, who lives near Barnstaple, only comes inside for homeschooling lessons and to have dinner and a shower

The schoolboy, who lives near Barnstaple, only comes inside for homeschooling lessons and to have dinner and a shower

Max’s adventure in a tent… so far

March 28 – First night in the tent 

May 26 – Raised more that £2,000

July 6 – 100 days in the tent, Max changed tents to preserve Rick’s tent

October 14 – 200 days in the tent

Highs: Reading the Beano for as long as you want, escaping parents 

Lows: Finding an ants nest under the tent, stormy weather

The challenge was originally only scheduled to last three weeks but has continued for months as his fundraising smashed new targets.

Max has recently marked 200 days sleeping in the tent and has since decided to try to extend the challenge and sleep outside for a year. 

The youngster said the best part of sleeping outside was ‘escaping’ parents and getting to ‘read the Beano for as long as you want’.

And he added the worst bits had been the weather and finding an ants’ nest underneath the tent. 

‘I sometimes get a bit freaked out when it’s stormy weather but I wouldn’t say I get scared,’ he said.

Max said he now preferred sleeping in a tent to indoors and enjoyed listening to the birds and the weather ‘battering’ against the tent. 

He has thanked everyone who has supported him in his charity feat and ‘all the key workers’ fighting the coronavirus.

For company in the tent he has his teddy bear

He said best thing about it was he could read Beano comics 'as long as you want'

For company in the tent he has his teddy bears (left), copies of the Beano comic (right) and a torch in case he needs to hunt for his back door key. The youngster said the best part of sleeping outside was ‘escaping’ parents and getting to ‘read the Beano for as long as you want’

Max has recently marked 200 days sleeping in the tent and has since decided to try to extend the challenge and sleep outside for a year after smashing fundraising targets

Max has recently marked 200 days sleeping in the tent and has since decided to try to extend the challenge and sleep outside for a year after smashing fundraising targets

Max’s mum Rachael, 48, who is an accountant, said the hospice supported neighbour Sue when she died in 2017 and enabled Rick’s friends to ‘keep him at home and let him die peacefully’.

Unfortunately Rick’s tent did not last long and had to be replaced and the family were now looking for winter camping gear, she added.

The hospice’s chief executive Stephen Roberts thanked Max for his ‘phenomenal’ efforts and said the money raised ‘could not come at a better time’.

He has raised £60,000 camping in a tent in his garden since lockdown began

He has raised £60,000 camping in a tent in his garden since lockdown began

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