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01st Mar 2023

‘Tent boy’ finally heading inside after three years of camping during which he raised £700k for charity

Charlie Herbert

He started camping outside for charity during the first Covid lockdown

A young boy is finally heading inside after three years of camping to raise money for charity.

Inspirational Max Woosey, 13, started sleeping in his garden in March 2020 in memory of a family friend who died of cancer.

The teen achieved nationwide fame and became known as ‘The Boy in the Tent.’

Now, after more than a thousand nights under canvas and more than £700,000 raised for the North Devon Hospice, he has announced his epic camp out will be coming to an end.

The money he has raised is enough to fund 15 full time hospice nurses, and his exploits have directly supported in excess of 500 patients at the North Devon Hospice.

During his adventure he has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM), camped out in front of exotic locations such as London Zoo, 10 Downing Street and Twickenham Rugby Stadium, and received a tent from Bear Grylls.

Max says he plans to end his three year run with a final celebratory camp-out festival on April 1 at Broomhill Estate in North Devon.

He announced the end on Twitter, writing: “It’s a funny feeling that after nearly three years tomorrow marks the start of my last month under canvas.

“Mixed emotions.”

He later added: “Every good thing must come to an end.”

His sleep out began on March 27 in 2020 in memory of Max’s friend and neighbour, Rick Abbot, who died in February 2019.

Rick, who was 74, had given Max a tent and told him to have an adventure with it, so he decided to camp out in the garden of his family home in Braunton, Devon.

Rick passed away at North Devon Hospice, and when Max heard the hospice was facing a £1m drop in funding because of Covid, he decided to fundraise for it.

Since then, he has single-handedly managed to raise enough money to fund the salaries of 15 members of staff – with his fundraising efforts being described as “insane” by their team.

Max’s final fundraiser will host three music stages along with an exhibition of previously unseen movie memorabilia.

Brad Pitt’s sword and shield from the film Troy and the original board from the Jumanji film are expected to be included on display.

There will also be a guest appearance from Welsh Game of Thrones actor and stuntman Ian Whyte.

Max said: “It was amazing that so many people got in touch from all over the UK wanting to mark my three-year anniversary of camping out, but I wanted to stay close to home and celebrate with friends and family nearby.

“We are going to camp out on the grounds amongst the sculptures and have a big party.

“There’s going to be bands and live music, fireworks and food, special guests, axe-throwing, and really cool movie memorabilia! It’s going to be epic.”

Max’s mum, Rachel, said: “We are so proud. He is such a lovely young man and has stayed very grounded about everything he has been through.

“He has raised an incredible really and not bad for sleeping in a tent. We are all so proud of what he is doing.”

Stephen Roberts, Chief Executive of North Devon Hospice, said: “This is a perfect way for Max to finish his fundraising challenge, which has been such an adventure and something he can look back on with so much pride.

“The funds he raised for North Devon Hospice in this time have made a real difference to the patients and families we support.

“Max has directly funded 15 nurses for a whole year. In that time, those nurses will have supported in excess of 500 patients who were facing the impact of a life-limiting illness like cancer.”

Tickets for the day-festival go on sale today (March 1) and all proceeds raised from the event will be donated to the hospice. You can buy tickets and find out more about the event here.

And if you want to donate to Max’s fundraiser, click here.

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