Young Northamptonshire footballers team up to raise more than £2,500 for rural food poverty charity

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Squad inspired by Capt Tom Moore pledged to travel seven miles in seven days

A team of young footballers from Northamptonshire have raised more than £2,500 for a charity providing food to people in rural areas.

The 16 members of Deanshanger Colts under-sevens have been travelling seven miles in seven days in support of Northamptonshire Community Larders.

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Stacey Pond, whose son Drew came up with the idea with his best friend, Alfie Tolputt, said she was proud of the whole squad.

The Deanshanger Colts under-sevens football teamThe Deanshanger Colts under-sevens football team
The Deanshanger Colts under-sevens football team | ugc

"Being able to do something as a team when they are not able to play football, which they usually do every week, is lovely and to see Drew get so excited about something is great," she said.

"He's loving it and it's been nice to keep him busy while giving something back at a time when it's so hard for so many people."

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore's extraordinary fundraising, Drew and Alfie, both seven, decided to get their football team to do seven miles in a week by whatever mode of transport they want.

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Stacey asked South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom for suggestions for what charity to do it for and picked SOFEA's community larder project in the county.

Best friends Drew Pond and Alfie Tolputt, both seven, came up with the idea to travel seven miles in seven days for charityBest friends Drew Pond and Alfie Tolputt, both seven, came up with the idea to travel seven miles in seven days for charity
Best friends Drew Pond and Alfie Tolputt, both seven, came up with the idea to travel seven miles in seven days for charity | ugc

The scheme sets up 'larders' in as many villages as possible to distribute food from supermarkets that would have gone to waste to those who need it - with around 6,000 boxes delivered during the coronavirus crisis.

Stacey said: "Drew and Alfie were keen to support people in the local area and with SOFEA being quite new to the area, it's nice to make a difference to them."

Starting on Monday, May 18, the 15 boys and one girl in the football team started making up their miles by walking, cycling and scootering.

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Their parents have been regularly posting updates on their JustGiving page to cheer each other on and encourage more fundraising.

Stacey said they set the target at £250 thinking they did not want to put it too high and not reach it but they soon surpassed everyone's expectations.

"We didn't think it would go as mad as it has - it's crazy that they've raised more than 10 times the target already and it's still going up," she said.

Miranda Wixon, who founded the Northamptonshire Community Larders, said the money would make a real difference to the project, which is not seeing a reduction in demand despite the lockdown easing.

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"To raise £2,500 is such a huge amount of money for such small people to generate so we cannot thank them enough," she said.

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