The North Pole has got itself a new elf this Christmas because a 12-year-old is helping to bring Christmas to those who need it most.
Archie Gilmour broke his wrist in September, and to keep himself sane he decided to undertake an ambitious 100-mile sponsored walk over the South Downs with his grandad John Johnstone and his dog Echo in aid of the Haslemere Food Bank.
Each weekend the trio headed out to complete sections of the walk, being dropped exactly where they finished the last part.
After learning the food bank’s shelves were empty Archie set his target at £500 on GoFundMe, telling his mum Danielle that he wanted to go to the supermarket and fill a trolley with £500 worth of groceries for the food bank.
Danielle was worried the £500 target was optimistic, but when Archie crossed the 100 mile mark last Saturday his total was a jaw-dropping £2,000.
A chunk of the money is being spent on the Christmas food drive, helping bring Christmas to Haslemere families.
A food bank spokesperson said: “What Archie has achieved over the past few weeks is astonishing. Raising £2,000 for the Haslemere Food Bank by walking the 100 miles of the South Downs Way is an incredible achievement and he should be extremely proud of his efforts.
"He has turned the negative situation of breaking his wrist into a huge positive for the wider community. This money will be used to buy much needed essential items to top up our shelves as well as to purchase items for our Christmas food drive. Thank you so much to Archie.”
Archie said: “It feels amazing to have completed the challenge knowing I have raised a lot of money for the food bank. I am a little disappointed it’s finished as I really enjoyed the walk and spending time with my grandad and my dog.
“I know people are struggling at the moment, and the shelves at the food bank were nearly empty when I started this challenge, but now with the money I’ve raised the food bank will be stocked up this Christmas.”
His mum added: “Archie has turned the hard situation of breaking his wrist into such a positive, productive use of his time while away from sport. He planned, prepared and executed the whole challenge and has raised a huge amount for the local food bank. We are so proud of him.”