A South Yorkshire schoolboy is running and cycling 99 miles to raise £99 for Barnsley Hospice.
Mason Coles, aged 11, has taken on the charity’s summer fundraising challenge to raise urgently needed money following a huge drop in income due to coronavirus.
Inspired by the iconic British ice cream, the hospice has invited supporters to take on a challenge incorporating the number 99.
Mason, who lives in Athersley and goes to Holy Trinity School, aims to raise £99 by clocking up 99 miles on his bike or on the run before he goes back to school in September.
His 99-mile fundraiser is on top of his usual weekly sporting activities of boxing, parkour (free running), football and goalkeeper training.
Mason’s Dad Gavin Coles, a long-time supporter of Barnsley Hospice, said: “Mason is always on the go anyway, but he really wanted to do something extra to raise funds for the hospice this summer when all its usual fundraising has taken such a hard knock. The hospice looked after his great grandma a few years ago and they were really great with her. As a family we think they deserve all our support.”
Barnsley Hospice launched the ‘99 challenge’ as part of its Save Our Summer campaign, appealing for extra support after many of its fundraising events were cancelled due to coronavirus and its charity shops were temporarily closed. The hospice is still down around £2,300 per day on its usual income.
Barnsley Hospice fundraising manager Sam Silverwood said: “Mason seems to be a very busy and active young man, and it’s great that he is taking the time to squeeze in a 99 challenge for us this summer. The money he raises will make a big difference at this difficult time and we really appreciate the ongoing support from him and his family.”
The Coles family and friends run a fundraising initiative called Little and Large Charity Challenges to raise money for the hospice through regular activities. They are sponsored by Barnsley-based roofing contractor K. Waddington & Sons.
Barnsley Hospice provides compassionate, high-quality care for anyone in the borough with a progressive life-limiting illness, including cancer, motor neurone disease and heart disease.
The charity needs to raise over £2m each year to fund patient care and support for families. A further £1.6m is provided by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).