TWO eight-year-old boys from Pontyberem in Carmarthenshire have raised over £1,000 in a month long fundraising challenge for their local NHS. Macsen Harris and Elis Eynon are running a mile a day for 28 days in their local park because they wanted to support their local health service during the COVID pandemic.
Macsen started the challenge on 4th February and his friend Elis was inspired to join him when he heard about it. So far the boys have raised over £1,000, with the challenge set to end on 7th March.
Macsen’s mum Lowri said, “Macsen is very keen to raise money for Hywel Dda to help local people get the support they need through these difficult times because of COVID. His best friend is joining him as will his siblings Lili and Caio, now and again, to help him run a mile a day for 28 days.”
Macsen said, “I am running a mile a day for 28 days for Hywel Dda Health Charities because I would like to help local people through COVID.”
The boys hope the money they raise will support staff and patients at Glangwili General Hospital.
Lowri added, “Macsen was very much inspired by others raising money for the NHS, especially Captain Sir Tom Moore, and he really wanted to follow in their footsteps. He had been asking to raise money for a while for the NHS, but thinking up a challenge was in itself a challenge. We discussed raising money for the NHS, and then discussed helping local people and he was a 100% behind helping local people, in particular if it would help his grandparents, one of which suffers from an autoimmune disease, although there’s nothing that can be done medically for this, we still all very much appreciate the care and support especially during COVID.”
Elis said he wanted to help his best friend Macsen with his fundraising, “and raise some money to say a big thank you for all the hard work the staff have and continue to do with the COVID pandemic and also because my sister has to regularly visit the hospital for her check-ups.”
Elis’ dad Dylan said, “Our daughter Liwsi regularly visits Glangwili hospital’s childrens centre because of her congenital heart defect and her epilepsy. We have always been so grateful for the care she has received and we’re so proud that her brother has decided to do his bit for the NHS with his best friend.”
Macsen said the challenge has been a good way to keep fit, despite his regular sports activities being on hold due to the pandemic, “I used to play football and rugby every day, then it all stopped. I have been walking regularly with my family which I enjoy. Running a mile a day was a challenge to start with, but is getting easier every day.”
Elis added, “It is getting easier but was tough at the beginning as I hadn’t done any of my training since November.”
Macsen’s mum Lowri said everyone is very proud of the boys and their dedication to raising money and running a mile a day for 28 days. “They have run in the rain, in very cold weather, and are still very keen to go every day despite the weather. They love meeting up with each other, and it’s lovely to see them having fun and undertaking this challenge together. They are so enthused by the money they are raising and can’t believe that people are willing to support them.”
Tara Nickerson, Fundraising Manager for Hywel Dda Health Charities said, “We are very grateful to Macsen and Elis for their amazing efforts, which will provide services and activities above and beyond core NHS expenditure, at what is a difficult time for many. They are truly inspirational.”
You can support the boys’ “More Than a Marathon” fundraising efforts at justgiving.com/fundraising/lowri-harris2