Wigan schoolboy inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to help other people

A caring schoolboy has been inspired by his namesake to get on his bike and raise money for a good cause.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 12:30 pm

Captain Sir Tom Moore made headlines around the world when he decided to walk 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday last year, raising more than £32m for NHS Charities Together.

Now, 10-year-old Tom Blakeley is following his lead by taking on his own charity challenge, so that he can help people.

The Orrell St James’ Catholic Primary School pupil has pledged to cycle 225 miles in just 15 days to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

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Tom Blakeley on his bike

It follows the death of his mother’s aunt to cancer in 2015 and his grandmother’s recent battle with leukaemia.

His mother Catherine, who lives in Orrell, said: “Over the past six months we have had a family shake-up with cancer so that’s why he’s doing it. He’s been learning about Captain Tom in school and what he did to raise money, and he decided to raise money for a charity close to his heart.

“I can’t tell you how proud we are. I feel like my heart could burst.”

Catherine said she was “surprised” Tom had chosen to do a bike ride, as he is not a particularly keen cyclist.

Captain Sir Tom Moore

But he did his first 15-mile ride on Tuesday and is raring to keep going.

Catherine said: “He loved it. His sister Layla, who’s six, joined him for the first ride. His grandad Pete joined in for some of the laps and Tom’s dad Martin did as well.

“He’s got a lot of support around him.”

Tom’s fund-raiser has also caught the attention of reality TV star Jess Wright, who appeared in The Only Way Is Essex. She shared his appeal on Instagram and donated £20.

Geordie Shore star Jay Gardner also tweeted about Tom’s bike ride, encouraging people to give their support.

Catherine said: “Because he can see how much support he’s got behind him, it’s spurring him on.”

Tom originally hoped to raise £500, but he has already smashed his target – just like Captain Tom – and donations have now passed £1,000.

He plans to keep cycling every day to complete his challenge and raise as much money as he can for Cancer Research UK.

To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/f/toms-bike-to-beat-cancer

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