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Boy sleeps in tent for months in memory of friends

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image copyrightRachael Woosey
image captionMax Woosey has been sleeping in his back garden since the beginning of lockdown

A 10-year-old boy has been sleeping outside in a tent for more than 200 days in memory of two family friends.

Max Woosey, from Braunton, was inspired to sleep out every night in a tent left to him by his friend and neighbour Rick, who died in February.

Rick, who was 74, told Max "promise me you'll have an adventure in here", before he died from cancer.

Max has raised more than £16,000 for the North Devon Hospice that cared for Rick and his wife in their final days.

image copyrightRachael Woosey
image captionMax started his "adventure" after hearing fundraising for the hospice was getting cancelled

The 10-year-old said the best part of sleeping outside was "escaping" parents and getting to "read the Beano for as long as you want".

And he added the worst bits had been the weather and finding an ants' nest underneath the tent.

"I sometimes get a bit freaked out when it's stormy weather, but I wouldn't say I get scared."

However, Max said he now preferred sleeping in a tent to indoors and enjoyed listening to the birds and the weather "battering" against the tent.

image copyrightRachael Woosey
image captionMax said staying up late and reading was one of the best things about sleeping in a tent

Max began his adventure on 28 March after hearing hospice fundraising events were being cancelled.

He has since decided to try to extend the challenge and sleep outside for a year.

Max has thanked everyone who has supported him and "all the key workers" fighting the coronavirus.

image copyrightRachael Woosey
image captionNorth Devon Hospice cared for Rick and Sue in their final days

Rachael, Max's mum, said the hospice supported neighbour Sue when she died in 2017 and enabled Rick's friends to "keep him at home and let him die peacefully".

Unfortunately Rick's tent did not last long and had to be replaced and the family were now looking for winter camping gear, she added.

The hospice's chief executive Stephen Roberts thanked Max for his "phenomenal" efforts and said the money raised "could not come at a better time".

image copyrightRachael Woosey
image captionMax has been sleeping outside for more than 200 days

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