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Schoolboy raises £85,000 for Haiti

Charlie Simpson on the bike he rode to raise money for Unicef's Haiti appealA seven-year-old boy has raised more than £85,000 by completing a sponsored bike ride to help victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Charlie Simpson burst into tears when he first saw TV footage of children being pulled from the rubble, and asked his mother Leonara how he could help.

He chose to cycle five miles around his local park in Fulham, west London, with the aim of raising £500 for Unicef's Haiti appeal, but smashed the target by more than 15,000% after internet users rallied behind him.

As word spread, Charlie's online sponsorship page gained more than £50,000 in donations on the very first day, rising to more than £85,000 on Monday.

He said: "I just think it was quite sad when I saw the pictures on the TV."

"We sent [the sponsorship form] out on to the web and it just went everywhere."

Mrs Simpson said: "He was really upset when he saw the pictures on the television and it was great to see him get motivated behind something as important as this and do something about it.

"He just sat on my lap, then we had about a chat about the things he could do, and how he could go about it. He decided to do the cycle ride and he made me do a sponsorship form for him and that was it. It suddenly took off."

Unicef will get all the money from his page, including more than £20,000 in 'Gift Aid' tax relief to use for emergency water, sanitation, education and nutrition as well as supporting child protection in Haiti.

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