AN ‘EXCEPTIONAL’ young fundraiser from Barnsley has raised more than £500 for Barnsley Hospice after completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

The walk comprises more than 24 miles and close to 5,250 feet of ascent and descent but Mason Coles, ten, ‘took it all in his stride’ as he took on the challenge with dad Gavin to raise money for the hospice.

“He bossed it, to be fair,” said Gavin, 41, who regularly takes part in endurance challenges with his ‘Little and Large’ team of fundraisers.

“You come down the last peak and think you’ve finished but there’s still another four or six miles left. Grown men were limping at the side of him but he took it in his stride. He got a lot of pats on the back at the end.

“It made me so proud and emotional.

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“People we passed were shocked when they saw someone of Mason’s age doing the Three Peaks - many of them donated on the spot when they found out what he was doing.

“He is an exceptional young man.”

The Little and Large team was set up by Gavin two years ago alongside friend Steve Gilbert, in memory of Gavin’s wife’s grandma who spent her final days in the care of Barnsley Hospice, and has since grown into an 860-plus strong Facebook group of supporters and fundraisers who take part in a vast range of challenges.

Holy Trinity School pupil Mason raised £580 for the hospice - around half of the total Gavin and the rest of the nine-strong team, now sponsored by Barnsley-based roofing firm K Waddington and Sons, expect to collect in total.

Mason, who lives on Darley Avenue, Athersley South, completed the walk in just under 12 hours - recognised as the time to beat for keen walkers.

Mason’s average week, according to his dad, will see him boxing, kickboxing and parkour training before playing football on the weekend for the Junior Tykes under 11s.

Gavin said the ten-year-old ‘can’t help himself’ when it comes to getting involved with the group’s fundraising.

“He keeps wanting to challenge himself and get involved,” said Gavin. “It’s all down to him, we ask if he wants to do it and he always puts himself into it and gives 100 per cent.

“He was tired and slept all the way back, but the next day he was asking what was next.

“A lot of kids will sit inside playing on the Xbox on Saturday mornings, but he’ll be getting up at 6am to do a 16-mile walk. It’s not something you hear of very often.”