A Leeds schoolboy named Billy has hit a one-year milestone of camping in his garden to raise funds for Emmaus Leeds.
Inspired to sleep outdoors after getting a teepee for his birthday, last July Billy set out to sleep in a tent in his garden for 100 nights to raise £150 for the charity.
Four seasons, five tents, and one lawn later, the thirteen-year-old has smashed his target and raised over £1,000 after spending a whole year outdoors.
Speaking with Emmaus about his achievement, Billy said: “I had a teepee bought for my birthday and my mum complained that I hadn’t used it. When it was good weather, I started to camp out and decided to stay out! We then went camping on holiday and it started from there. I’m stubborn and my parents say I’m quite resilient, so to be able to combine something that I really enjoy with helping others is a good challenge for me.”
During his experience, Billy slept outside in sun, rain and even snow. Despite these challenges, he is determined to keep going. Billy even hopes to beat the record set by ‘the boy in the tent’, Max Woosey who spent three years sleeping in a tent to raise money for North Devon Hospice.
His mum, Sarah said: “We aren’t surprised that he has stayed out for so long, but that he’s only ever gone out to his tent in his PJs and sliders with a single duvet and sleeping bag is remarkable!
“He insisted on taking his brother’s Duke of Edinburgh Award tent when visiting his grandparents in South Wales, so that he kept up his camping out streak, likewise when going to a friends’ for a sleepover. When he started his adventure, he wasn’t aware of ‘the boy in the tent’ so now he is that’s appealed to his competitive streak!
Gina Morrison, Executive Lead for the charity said: “On behalf of everyone at Emmaus Leeds I would like to thank Billy for his fundraising efforts. It is a pleasure to see a young person taking time out to think about others and putting so much effort into raising money to help a charity. Well done Billy!”
Find out how you can fundraise for Emmaus Leeds here.