The six-year-old Bexhill boy riding his bike to help the homeless

Six-year-old Charlie Willis from Bexhill
Six-year-old Charlie Willis from Bexhill

A six-year-old Bexhill boy is planning to cycle 25 miles throughout August to raise money for people living homeless in the town.

Charlie Willis, who lives with his mum Jo, in Wickham Avenue, Bexhill, will be donating the money he raises to Warming up the Homeless – a group which offers support to Hastings’ homeless.

This will be the second time Charlie, a pupil at King Offa Primary Academy, has supported the group after previously donating items including a sleeping bag, pot noodles, bottled water and spare clothing, when Jo, 36, spotted a plea on Facebook.

However, not satisfied with this, Charlie’s mum entered him into the Race at Your Own Pace event, setting him a target of 25 miles in a month.

His mum said: “I feel so proud of him and I am so grateful to those who have encouraged him.

“He wants to make a difference but if people did not sponsor or support him then he would lose that.

“He sees homeless people in the street and asks what we can do to support them. I hope he can continue to help people as he grows older.

“I feel proud as his mum and feel like I must have done something right.”

At the time of writing, Charlie was 12.2 miles through his journey and well ahead of schedule.

On Monday, he will be meeting with Bexhill MP Huw Merriman to have pictures taken and his message shared further.

Jo added: “I have set up the hashtag #CharliesMiles on Facebook to spread it further.

“Charlie loves telling people he is doing it and his school said they will say something about it during assembly after the summer holidays.

“A few weeks ago he decided he wanted to do this and I told him it was a good idea as he had the time to complete it during the summer holidays.”

Last year, Charlie threw a party and raised £160 through ticket sales for Special Kids Bexhill – a charity supporting children with special needs – something he hopes to repeat this Christmas.

He has raised £345 this time around via a JustGiving page he set up at the end of last month and has also been told Hastings Direct plans to donate £100 to the cause.

But Charlie wants his fundraising to spread as far as possible and needs your help. You can donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/charlies-miles.