Captain Tom 100: 8-year-old boy to sleep in his garden for 100 nights in memory of war veteran

Thousands of people across the UK are taking part in charity challenges themed around the number 100 in honour of Captain Sir Tom Moore

An eight-year-old boy is planning to sleep for 100 nights in a bivvy bag in his back garden to raise funds for the Captain Tom Foundation.

Archie Tunstill, who lives in a village near Newmarket in Suffolk, said he was inspired to take on the challenge by 11-year-old Max Woosey.

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Camping out for charity

Archie will reach his 100th night sleeping in his bivvy bag on 4 July (Photo: PA)

Max was given a tent by a family friend who died from cancer, who told him to have an adventure.

He went on to raise more than £500,000 for charity by sleeping in the tent in his garden in Devon for a year.

On the final night of his challenge, on 27 March, Max encouraged children across the UK to sleep in a tent in their garden to raise money for charity as part of a Big Camp Out.

Archie joined in with the fundraising effort and has been sleeping in his garden every night since then.

Archie’s mum, Poppy Tunstill, 39, said her son has always enjoyed camping and being outdoors, and what started out as a bit of fun soon turned into a challenge.

She said: “He started that night and carried on just for fun, then a week into the sleep-out he was thinking, ‘maybe I could make it into an adventure or a challenge’ then we heard about the Captain Tom 100.

“He decided to turn a few nights into 100 nights.”

What is Captain Tom 100?

The family of Second World War veteran and NHS Captain Sir Tom Moore have launched a nationwide charity challenge in his honour on what would have been his 101st birthday.

Thousands of people around the country are taking part in their own charity challenges, which are all themed around the number 100 in his memory.

The challenge was inspired by the war veteran’s own fundraising efforts, after he raised an incredible £23 million for the NHS last year by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

Mrs Tunstill, who works as a vet, said Archie has been sleeping in an old Army-issue bivvy bag with a waterproof outer lining, which houses his sleeping bag inside

He also has some shelter from a basha, which is like a tarpaulin, which has been attached to a tree.

The 8-year-old has already braved some bitter nights outdoors, with rain, snow and temperatures falling to minus 4C, but he is determined to finish his challenge.

His mum added: “We’ve been saying ‘you don’t have to carry on if you don’t want to’ but he’s started so he’ll finish.

“He came in one morning with ice on his hat, snow on his hat.

“We’re just so proud of how resilient he is and how tough he’s being about it and I think it will definitely make him a stronger character.”

But Archie said his “worst nights have been the warmer nights”, adding: “I got too hot and had to go inside and take layers off.”

However, Archie has been joined by his six-year-old brother Ollie on some nights to keep him company.

The youngster said that he is spurred on by his fundraising and the thought of inspiring others, adding: “It’s really fun because there’s no one to wake me up.”

His 100th night sleeping in his bivvy bag will be on 4 July.

He has raised almost £2,000 for the Captain Tom Foundation so far, and his family have set up a fundraising page for people to sponsor him on his challenge.

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