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Charlie gets on his bike to raise £100,000 for Haiti appeal

© UNICEF UK/2010
Charlie Simpson completing his sponsored cycle at South Park in Fulham.

25 January 2010 - Seven-year-old Charlie Simpson has raised tens of thousands of pounds for children in Haiti by completing a five-mile sponsored cycle around his local park.

Charlie, from Fulham in south-west London, decided to raise funds for UNICEF's Haiti appeal by cycling around South Park seven times. He initially aimed to raise £500, but by Monday lunchtime his total stood at nearly £100,000 and counting.

On his JustGiving page Charlie explains: "I want to do a Sponsored Bike Ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives. I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti."

Funds raised will support UNICEF’s Haiti Earthquake Children's appeal. UNICEF has sent emergency teams from around the region to help children and families in Haiti; and aid is getting through, providing clean water, preventing disease and saving lives. However, more supplies are urgently needed. A UNICEF water kit costs just £10 and can give a family all they need to have clean drinking water. The money Charlie has raised so far could provide clean water to 10,000 families.

Donations from around the world
Charlie's fundraising has captured the public imagination and generated sponsorship from all over the world. People from as far afield as Hong Kong and New Zealand have been donating to his Justgiving page, calling Charlie “an inspiration to us all".

Proud mum Leonora said: “What started off as a little cycle round the park with his dad has turned into something a lot bigger than that and we can't believe it.”

“He’s done really well. He’s worked hard and he's raised a phenomenal amount of money. He really felt strongly about this and thought that something had to be done. It was great to see him so motivated. I am extremely proud of our Charlie,” she said.

Michael Newsome, UNICEF Haiti Appeal Director, added: “There’s something quite special about a child in the UK reaching out to the children of Haiti. It’s quite fabulous.”

David Bull, UNICEF's UK executive director, described Charlie's ride on Sunday as "bold" and "innovative".

“It shows he connects with and not only understands what children his own age must be going through in Haiti, but is also wise enough to know that he can help them. On behalf on the many children in Haiti, I thank Charlie for his effort," he said.

Feeling inspired?
You can help children in Haiti by making a donation to Charlie's Justgiving page or fundraising for Haiti yourself.

UNICEF does not receive money from the DEC nor from the UN budget. We rely on voluntary donations. You can donate online or by calling freefone 0800 316 5353.

For more information:
Gemma Parkin or Maeve McClenaghan, UNICEF Press Office, Tel: 020 7336 8922 or 0798 8903621.
Tamar Hahn, thahn@unicef.org, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


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