Harmonie-Rose Allen, eight, and 12-year-old Max Woosey who won the Spirit of Adventure Award at Pride of Britain, will camp out together along with presenter Carol Vorderman and other supporters
Two Pride of Britain heroes are joining forces for a new challenge to raise money for charity.
Child of Courage Harmonie-Rose Allen, eight, and 12-year-old Max Woosey who won the Spirit of Adventure Award at the star-studded event, will camp out together along with presenter Carol Vorderman and an army of supporters as Max, aka The Boy In The Tent, hits an incredible two years of sleeping outside.
“It’s going to be a real celebration of what Max has achieved,” says the schoolboy’s mum Rachael.
“The fact Harmonie-Rose is joining him is amazing. She and Max are very similar in many ways. They’re gutsy and brave and they just don’t believe there’s anything they can’t achieve. They’re an inspiration to be around.”
Andy Stenning / Daily Mirror)
Max, from Braunton, north Devon, received his award from adventure hero Bear Grylls in October after sleeping outside for more than 500 nights, raising £640,000 for his local hospice. Neighbor and family friend Rick Abbott had given the youngster a tent when he was terminally ill, and told him to have an adventure. It was after Rick’s death that Max did a sponsored camp out, initially hoping to raise £100 for the hospice that he had cared for his friend.
Harmonie-Rose from Bath raised more than £100,000 for charity after contracting Meningitis at just 10 months old. Doctors at first told mum Freya Hall and her dad Ross Allen she had a 10% chance of survival. As well as having part of her arms and legs de ella removed after they became infected, the youngster also lost part of her nose de ella.
During lockdown she embarked on the 2.6 Challenge for charity Meningitis Now completing six tasks her parents once feared she might never do including including drawing, jumping on a trampoline, singing the alphabet and doing cartwheels.
The unstoppable pair hatched a plan to camp out together the night they met last year in London at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB.
“Harmonie-Rose was just mesmerized by Max,” says Freya, 27. “He had so much time to talk to her and we all thought he was so inspiring. We don’t know which of them came up with it first, but the idea of Harmonie going along to camp with Max came up that very first night they met, and when we all got together the next morning it came up again and we knew straight away it was going to happen.”
With both youngsters raising money for their respective charities through Max’s Big Camp Out on March 26 – Harmonie-Rose for Meningitis Now and Max for North Devon Hospice – they hope they can inspire other children to take control of their own fundraising efforts.
“Throughout the whole process, Max has made his own plans on everything he’s done,” says Rachael, 49, also mum to Isobel, 23, and Abby, 25. “He asked to camp out and he chose what he’s fundraised for. On March 26 we’re going to have our own event in Devon, but we’d love other children to join in wherever they are.
“Through Max’s Big Camp Out, we’d love to get kids across the country having a go at raising money for causes close to their hearts, and whether they’re camping in a den in their bedrooms or sleeping in a tent in the garden with their parents, there are lots of ways to do it.
“Max has grown so much through all of this. He’s gained confidence and resilience, and of course he’s achieved a huge amount for charity. We couldn’t be proud of him.”
And after a setback with his tent last week – Max’s shelter collapsed in the wind last Friday – he’s already back in business. “Luckily we had a spare tent, so he was able to swap straight over,” says Rachael. “But the messages of support and offers of a new tent have been amazing. We’ve had outdoors companies get in contact, individuals and small family businesses. Bear Grylls even got in touch on Instagram – it took us a nanosecond to reply.”
Along with the youngsters and Pride of Britain host Carol, family members and friends will camp out in Devon to mark Max’s two years under the stars next month.
“I’m one of nine, and most of my siblings and their children will be there too,” says Freya, also mum to Luna, who turns four in March. “As well as doing something amazing with Harmonie, and to support her charity de ella we want to celebrate Ella’s Max’s achievement because what he’s done has been incredible. Two years is a long time to do what he’s done and we’re really proud of him.”
Rachael, who along with Max’s sisters and dad Mark will sleep outside next month, adds: “The Pride of Britain was a great way to meet some amazing people. We’re thrilled to have kept in touch with Harmonie-Rose and the family. We met up last weekend to make plans for Max’s Big Camp Out, and had a great time together. She’s a wonderful little girl. We can’t wait for it to happen.”
Find out more at maxsbigcampout.justgiving.com