Ashton, 5, cycles 100 miles 'to help poorly children feel happy'
- Credit: Jessica Mattin
A five-year-old Suffolk schoolboy cycled 100 miles in three weeks to raise money for a children's hospice - after saying he wanted “to help children who are poorly feel happy”.
Bawdsey Primary School pupil Ashton only learned how to ride his bike during the first lockdown.
Having met his mum Jessica Mattin's challenge to ride 22 miles while home-schooling in just four days, he wanted to take on a bigger test - and help others in the process.
So he decided to join in East Anglia's Children's Hospices' EACH Mile Counts campaign for people to run, walk or cycle 100 miles in February in aid of its facilities, which include The Treehouse in Ipswich.
“This is the first fundraiser Ashton has done,” said Jessica.
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“I couldn’t be more proud of him and I’m in awe of his determination.
"We follow school’s timetable for home-schooling, finishing between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, then we go on a bike ride, finishing the day with a bath and some warm milk.
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"Ashton cycles around our local area and we’re lucky enough to live within cycling distance of Rendlesham Forest, so we cycle there, too.
"I try to keep up and provide the snacks!"
Ashton covers about 5.5miles in approximately 1hr and 15mins, cycling between 20 and 25 miles during the week and another 15 to 20 miles at weekends.
He rides across all terrains, even ploughing on through the recent snowy weather.
His original fundraising target was £500, which he has more than doubled.
The current total stands at more than £1,200.
"Thank you to everyone who has donated," said Jessica.
"Ashton has said he’s going to continue until the end of February to see how many more miles he can do!”
EACH has revealed it is facing a £2milion deficit over the next year, after losing huge swathes of income from fundraising and charity shops.
The charity said the sheer generosity of the public had helped it through the past year, with chief executive Phil Gormley said that he is "genuinely confident for the future" of the organisation.
People can still donate to Ashton's fundraiser here.