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Lad inspired by Captain Tom Moore raises £1,750 for the NHS after garden challenge

A seven-year-old boy has raised more than £1,750 for the NHS after running 60 laps of his garden for 20 days on the trot.

Jacob Skelton, who attends the St Francis Catholic Primary School in Maidstone, raised the cash after being inspired by Captain Tom Moore and seeing the support his elder sister, who has epilepsy, has received from doctors and nurses.

Neil, Eva, Jane and Jacob Skelton have been enjoying the garden challenge together
Neil, Eva, Jane and Jacob Skelton have been enjoying the garden challenge together

Jacob's challenge has become a family affair with either his mum or dad running 20 laps of their lawn three times a day with their son, who even dressed up in his favourite Spider-Man costume one day.

Jacob's mum Jane, said: "We were home schooling and it isn't the easiest. I told Jacob about Captain Tom because I thought he was quite an interesting man and about the millions he raised for the NHS.

"He just jumped up, it was quite out of character and he said 'I can do that', I need to beat Captain Tom.'"

Jane suggested to Jacob, who lives in Wateringbury, that rather than trying to raise millions he could aim for £1,000 instead, which he exceeded by £750.

The money will go to NHS Charities Together.

Jacob was awarded a trophy when he finished his last lap
Jacob was awarded a trophy when he finished his last lap

Jacob's older sister Eva was diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy when she was six-years-old and the family travel up to Tunbridge Wells Hospital for her appointments.

"We are definitely no stranger to help from the NHS," Jane, who left her HR job after Eva developed her condition, said.

Jane went on: "It's quite nice to have a focus during lockdown. He would do a really enthusiastic three or four laps then he would say 'I'm tired' and we would say 'come on, come on, you've got to keep going.'"

The challenge concluded on May 6 and the determined runner was even presented with a trophy by his parents.

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