A YOUNG boy has gone the extra mile to help raise funds for children in hospital over Christmas by swapping a bike ride for doing sit-ups.

Harry Priestley, of Hoyland, is a pupil at Barugh Green Primary where his year six class did a bike ride challenge on Monday to raise money to buy Christmas presents for children who will be staying in over Christmas.

However, Harry, ten, wanted to do something else to raise more money and put together a food parcel for a local charity with his mum Bekki Priestley, 34. Bekki overheard him chatting to his friends on his PlayStation about raising a bit more money by doing a sit-up challenge, but was apprehensive about asking anyone else for donations.

“He is a very sporty person,” said Bekki. “He loves exercise and he does karate every week. He never stops and is always full of energy.”

After hearing that Harry wants to do something extra, Bekki set up a Facebook fund-raising page aiming to raise £175, but didn’t tell him at first as she wanted to make it a nice surprise.

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“He got a lot of people to sponsor him for his school bike challenge, where he and his class rode 120 miles between them in five minute turns, but he didn’t know how to ask to do something extra I think,” said Bekki.

“A lot of people have donated and have been amazed at his generosity and him wanting to go the extra mile. He is a very empathetic boy and he is very quiet which is why he felt he couldn’t ask for any sponsorship for his sit-ups.

“He has raised a total of £284 at the moment, both through his sit-up fund-raising and fund-raising for the bike ride challenge. 50 per cent of what he has raised will go to the class fundraiser and the other 50 per cent will be used for the food parcel for the Barnsley Churches Drop in Project (BCDP) and the charity Cash for Kids Mission Christmas.”

At the moment Harry has done 1,500 sit-ups so far and is hoping to get to 2,000 by the end of Sunday. Bekki said she ended up telling the ten-year-old about the fundraiser after a few days to let him know how generous people had been.

“He is absolutely ecstatic about the whole thing,” said Bekki. “This has been fantastic for him and he makes me very proud. Everybody has said what a wonderful thing he is doing.

“He has awareness of things like this and we do try and do what we can for charities and the community.”