An 11-year-old boy who has raised half a million pounds by camping outside for more than a year is taking his tent to London Zoo as part of his latest charity challenge.
Max Woosey from Braunton in Devon, is “living the dream” according to his mother, and is set to not only sleep among the creatures and critters on Monday, but will earn his keep by working as a zookeeper too.
He hopes his animal sleepover on Monday night will inspire others to “boycott your bed” for Action for Children, in support of vulnerable youths in the UK.
“He’s living the dream today,” mum Rachael told the PA news agency.
“For an 11-year-old boy to be a zookeeper for the day and get the chance to interact with these amazing animals and then sleep at the zoo, I mean it doesn’t get better than that.
“I think these are just all of his dreams come true.”
Max started his adventure on March 28 last year, camping in his garden to raise money for a hospice which looked after a family friend, Rick Abbott.
Having raised more than £500,000 in that time, he is not done yet, and wants others to join him on Friday night.
Max told PA: “Get outside and be adventurous. You can sleep wherever you want, just make it a bit adventurous and quite cool!”
“I’ll be helping the zookeepers, giving some of the animals their food, and I just can’t wait for it.
“Tomorrow I’m going to be feeding the lemurs their breakfasts, and I’m going to be feeding the gorillas and the peacocks as well.
“It will be amazing, I think knowing that (the animals are) over there and I’m here just helps a bit more!”
Action For Children will host a virtual event on Friday night, connecting everyone who registered for the challenge, with star turns from Angela Rippon and Jessica Hynes among others.
“Having boycotted his own bed for over a year now, Max is the ultimate adventurer and we can’t wait to see what he gets up to through the night at the Zoo,” said Dr Tim O’Neill, Action for Children’s managing director of children’s services.
“We’re asking you to join Max and sign up to the sleep out on the 9th July to support children who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
“Our services across the UK tell us that more families are facing financial hardship than ever before and vulnerable children are paying the price.”
Kathryn England, Chief Operating Officer at ZSL London Zoo said: “The morning wakeup call at ZSL London Zoo will sound a little different from his back garden… as he’ll likely be woken up to the sounds of roaring lions, singing gibbons and honking flamingos!”
To learn more about the Boycott your Bed challenge, visit www.boycottyourbed.co.uk.