Emily, 10, raises thousands for charity with west to east cycling challenge
- Credit: Archant
While most children are happy spending their Easter holidays eating plenty of chocolate and enjoying a break from school, Emily Read had different plans altogether.
The 10-year-old, from Exeter, bravely decided to undertake a 500-mile bike ride to raise money for ShelterBox, who provide boxes containing essential supplies for families robbed of their homes by natural disaster or conflict.
Starting on Easter Sunday from Land's End in Cornwall - England's most westerly point - Emily pledged to cycle at least 100 miles and raise £1180, enough to fund the purchase of two boxes.
However, having conquered her initial target, she opted to ride all the way to Ness Point in Lowestoft - England's most easterly point - thus completing a journey from one side of the country to the other.
Two weeks after setting off with her father Simon, Emily reached the east coast on Sunday, April 15, by which time she had staggeringly raised nearly £5000.
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'About two years ago I went to the Devon County Show and saw a stand for Shelterbox,' said Emily. 'I was talking to them about what they do and thought it would be nice to help them raise money.
'At first I wanted to raise money for two boxes, but thanks to everyone's amazing support I smashed my first fundraising target - and the next, and the next! I've put the target up one last time to see if we can make it to 10 boxes.'
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Having navigated her way through mud, hills, wind and rain, Emily was greeted at a misty Ness Point by her mother Jenny and the family dog, Arty.
The boxes for which Emily has been raising money are packed with items such as tools, tents, water purification kits and blankets. Shelterbox deliver the supplies to people rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of a disaster.
'Emily has done some fundraising before, but she wanted to do something bigger when she heard about Shelterbox,' said Mrs Read.
'She obviously couldn't raise thousands of pounds off her own back, but this is a case of a 10-year-old doing whatever she possibly can do to help a worthy cause.
'It's been really exciting and Emily has loved doing it; the support from the public and total strangers has been totally overwhelming.'
Visit Emily's JustGiving page to help her raise enough money for 10 boxes.