On Saturday 2nd May, 9 year old Alex Harper from Cockermouth decided to push himself out of his comfort zone and complete a half marathon in his garden to raise money for Hospice at Home West Cumbria.

Alex, who is a pupil at Cockermouth’s Fairfield Primary School, wanted to complete a ‘stay at home challenge’ whilst supporting a local cause.

Alex said “I watched the ‘Big Night In’, and wanted to do something to help. I thought a half marathon is quite a long way, so it might impress people enough to sponsor me. Hospice at Home West Cumbria is a really good cause, because they look after people in our local community“.

In preparation for the challenge, Alex talked to lots of his friends and family about it and has since thanked them all for their support. Alex added “The news of their support coming in during the day for Hospice at Home gave me the energy to keep going.”

The challenge was completed in one day, and included over 300 laps of Alex’s garden.  His twin brother Robin and parents Katie and Lucy were on hand as his support team by making sure he took regular rests and got plenty of energy from drinks and snacks throughout the challenge.

Katie Harper, Alex’s Mum said “Being active is really important to us as a family, as is being part of our community. This challenge really took Alex out of his comfort zone, and gave him the chance to achieve something he hasn’t done before. It was great to hear the support of friends and neighbours over the hedge and on video calls too! Alex’s challenge has meant we could help the people who benefit from hospice care despite the disruption to their critical fundraising activities”.

Alex, who enjoys being active through Fairfield Primary School, Cockermouth Rugby Club, Keswick Junior Parkrun and most recently Joe Wicks PE sessions, initially set himself a fundraising target of £200 to support Hospice at Home West Cumbria through a Facebook fundraising page. He quickly reached this target and the total amount raised is currently over £400.

Gemma Bell, Community Fundraiser for hospice said “We are so grateful to Alex for taking on such a tough challenge to support our charity. He has raised a fantastic amount whilst completing his stay at home challenge – an amazing achievement at just nine years old! We are incredibly proud of him and on behalf of everyone at Hospice at Home West Cumbria, I’d like to say thank you to Alex for being a superstar fundraiser!”

For more information on how to support Hospice at Home West Cumbria please click HERE