Dunstable boy's skipathon challenge raises £1.6k for hospital's NICU appeal

A kind-hearted Dunstable boy has raised £1,600 for the L&D's NICU department thanks to his super skipathon challenge.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 1:34 pm

Harry Cromwell, nine, will be completing 195 skips tomorrow (March 31) on the final day of his one-month fundraiser.

The energetic Ashton St Peter's pupil started with 45 skips on March 1, and added an extra five each day so his task became harder and harder.

His mum, Gemma, told the Gazette: "At school, his headteacher Mr Bower introduced skipping as a way to get morale up, and we found that it was good for mental health, as everything was up in the air after the first lockdown.

Harry and Mr Bower skipping earlier this month. Right: Harry and Mum, Gemma.

"Harry found that skipping was really beneficial, so we had a chat about using it as a way to raise money, and thought we could increase the amount of skips each day.

"It took off well and it wasn't long before he'd reached his target of £1,000. Harry was blown away!"

The mini athlete had wanted to help his local hospital, so his mum, Gemma, had shown him several appeals which the L&D was running.

Harry was drawn to helping the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which has a goal of £1.5m to enable it to buy extra equipment and afford enhancements.

Linus skipping for Harry's challenge. Right: Harry in action.

Gemma said: "We're just really proud. I was talking to my husband, and when he first started we thought he would be out of his comfort zone, but it's opened our eyes to how much it means to him. To see his confidence and commitment is amazing.

"It's been lovely to see Harry have something really positive; to see him happy makes us happy."

Harry's efforts have been supported by boxer Linus Udofia, the current English Middleweight Champion, with the pair recently completing a daily challenge of 120 skips!

The family are also sure that Harry's grandmother, Sara Trollope, who they lost to Covid-19, will be with him in spirit; she used to work as a matron and would be really proud of Harry's efforts for the hospital.

Meanwhile, Harry is getting ready to challenge his headteacher Mr Bower tomorrow, who will be seeing if he can match Harry's 195 skips!

Gemma added: "Normally Harry is a hard core [video] gamer and keeps much to himself, but by coming out and doing this, he's got his friends challenging him - and even Linus! I think it's made him realise that the world is bigger than what he thought."

Harry would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the appeal, to Ashton St Peter's Church of England VA primary School, to Mr Bower, and to Linus.