Donnie goes the extra mile for Oxfam

Eight-year-old Donnie Monk scaled the Half Ben as part of his 20,000 steps a day challenge.

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A primary school pupil from Caol has raised more than £900 for Oxfam by walking an astonishing 20,000 steps a day over the Easter holidays.

Donnie Monk, 8, told his mum and dad at the beginning of the holidays he wanted to do something to help starving children. Specifically, he wanted to help them get access to clean water. The family chose Oxfam because they knew the charity worked to overcome poverty and suffering and funded the building of wells in communities.

During the challenge, Donnie ran 5km four times, climbed the Pap of Glencoe and the Half Ben, did walks and races around Nevis Range, walked round Arisaig and Glenfinnan and all the way to Peanmeanach Bothy – a seven and a half hour walk that was fuelled by plenty of Easter chocolate and the company of good friends.

The bothy walk took him to 25,000 steps that day. Some days, when he hadn’t reached his goal, he would run up and down the stairs and round the block to make sure he reached the 20,000 target.

Mum Donna Monk said: ‘It took us five hours to walk to the top of the Pap of Glencoe and back and he had still only reached 16,000 steps so it was no easy task. It definitely helped that there was a supply of Easter chocolate for when he finished each walk.’

Donnie told the Lochaber Times: ‘I was very happy knowing I was helping raise money for sick and starving people, but it made me feel really tired sometimes. Some of it was really hard. I thought it would be a lot easier. On the last day I didn’t think I could do it.’

But he did. Over 17 days, Donnie walked and ran 387,773 steps raised £946 for the charity.

Donna said: ‘’We are really proud of him for wanting to do something to help people less fortunate than himself.

‘It was lovely seeing how happy he was when he started to see the donation total rising. He would get excited and ask, ‘how many wells do you think they will be able to build with that?’. He was completely amazed.

‘The more steps he did, the more energy he seemed to get. I think the challenge was really good for him. It seems to have given him a bit of confidence in his own ability.’

To everyone that supported him and donated, Donnie said: ‘Thank you a lot for helping me with my Oxfam challenge and thank you for donating money. I felt happy I did it and really happy about the amount of money it raised.’

The fundraising page is still open at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/donnie-monk