Max Woosey tent camp-out sees 1,000 children take part

  • Published
Three children with dog in tentImage source, Camilla Parish
Image caption,
Leo 9, Louis, 7, and Eliza, 4, slept out in their garden in Devon with their parents and dogs

About 1,000 children have taken part in a "big camp-out" inspired by an 11-year-old boy who has slept in a tent for a year.

Max Woosey, from Braunton, Devon, began his challenge after a neighbour, who later died of cancer, gave him a tent to "have an adventure in".

Children as far away as north America and Singapore took part in the Saturday night camp-out.

By Sunday Max had raised more than £500,000 for charity.

The money will be donated to the North Devon Hospice which helped Max's family care for their neighbour Rick Abbott - the man who provided the tent - before he died in February 2020.

Image source, Rachael Woosey
Image caption,
On Sunday night Max will mark an entire year of sleeping in a tent

Max's mother Rachael Woosey said they had received "hundreds of messages" and believed about a thousand people took part in the camp-out.

Camilla Parish, of Chawleigh in Devon, said her family of five, together with their dogs, had camped out for a third time in support of Max's efforts.

"After such a bizarre year, having little adventures like this has been great fun and it felt lovely [that] so many were joining and raising money for a great cause," she said.

Image source, Vihing Lee
Image caption,
Max had been a "true inspiration" to Essé Lee, 6, from East Hertfordshire, who built a den, her mother said
Image source, Joanie Baxendale
Image caption,
Children as young as three took part, like Jasper and his big brother Theodore
Image source, David Preston
Image caption,
Lucy and Zachary had popcorn for their camp -out and were "very excited"

Many children braved wind and rain through the night while others enjoyed the comfort of their living rooms instead.

David Preston from South Staffordshire said his two children had popcorn in their tent, which had been put up in the front room.

"The children decided to do it after seeing Max on the news one evening... they where hardly roughing it like Max. But nevertheless they absolutely loved it," he said.

Image source, Lucy Ross
Image caption,
Ava and Jack camped out indoors with their own "camp fire"
Image source, Jo Burtoft
Image caption,
Charlie and Sam, both aged 10, wanted to support Max

Max began camping at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown and has admitted he has "cried himself to sleep" on some nights "because all his gear was soaking wet". He has gone through seven tents in total.

Companies and individuals have donated tents and equipment while celebrities, including Jonny Wilkinson and Bear Grylls, have sent good wishes.

Image source, Devon Star Media/Woosey family
Image caption,
Max's family joined him for the big camp-out on Saturday night

Ms Woosey said Max and his family were thrilled both with the numbers who took part and the £516,000 raised for the hospice.

"Last night I lay in bed in tears because it hit me. It's just so overwhelming," she said.

Follow BBC News South West on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to spotlight@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics