Northamptonshire boy, 8, raises more than £6,000 for Ukraine after cycling two laps of Richmond Park in London

“I feel very happy and it’s the correct thing to do, helping other people. It was a team effort and I’m grateful to everyone who donated.”

By Megan Hillery
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 8:42 am

An eight-year-old Brixworth boy has raised a jaw-dropping £6,264 for Ukraine after cycling two laps of London’s Richmond Park.

Oscar Hutchings, 8, cycled for a total of two hours, covering a distance of 24km when circling Richmond Park in London twice on Sunday, April 3.

Oscar said: “It was very very fun and a bit challenging but I had my Dad and my Dad’s friend Yaroslav riding with me.

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Oscar Hutchings, aged eight, pictured at Richmond Park.

“Yaroslav is from Ukraine and his family were there at the start of the war. My Mum was cheering me on the whole way and made me a special T-shirt for my ride.”

After hearing about the war in Ukraine, Oscar wanted to donate everything he possibly could to the crisis appeal including his favourite trainers.

“Proud” mother, Heather Willey, 36, said: “The first thing he wanted to do was have a massive flag outside of the house to show his support for Ukraine.

“I convinced him to put it in his bedroom window so now he has a flag covering the whole of his window because we don’t have a flagpole for it to go outside.”

Oscar, who goes to Spratton Hall school, came home one day and suggested he should run a marathon to raise money for Ukraine after taking inspiration from a family friend, who has fundraised for cancer through running.

His mum told him he might be a bit young to run a marathon so Oscar decided to cycle instead as bike riding is something he has been “passionate” about since he was little, according to Heather.

Oscar loves to go bike-riding with his dad, who lives in London, so he chose to cycle the perimeter of Richmond Park.

The young fundraiser was initially going to complete one lap of the park but - in a practice lap of the park he did two days prior - he impressed onlookers as he circled around and energetically exclaimed that he was going to do another.

Heather, who describes her son as usually quite “shy” in social situations, said: “He came whizzing past on his bike and he said, ‘I am going around again, mum!’ and off he goes. It is so nice that people in the park saw what he was doing and donated as well.”

All the money raised by Oscar will go towards the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity, which provides emergency medical care to people affected by conflict and disasters.

When asked by this newspaper why Oscar chose this particular charity, he said: “Because the doctors need lots of equipment to help the people who have been hurt in the war. It’s very sad to see lots of families being hurt and injured.”

Oscar added: “I feel very happy and it’s the correct thing to do helping other people. It was a team effort and I’m grateful to everyone who donated.”

For more information or to make a donation to Oscar’s fundraiser, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oscar-hutchings.