Ledbury has found its own answer to fundraising hero Captain Tom – a nine-year-old boy with a new bicycle that’s being put to heart-warming use.

Ashperton Primary youngster George Pritchard decided that he and his new birthday bike would combine to raise funds for Ledbury Food Bank, where leaders are calling him a 'Christmas hero' .

So far, George has raised £230 by doing laps around his house, inspired by the example of Captain Tom, and is willing to do more if the pledges and donations keep rolling in.

His proud mum, Jayne Pritchard, said: “We gave George a new bike for his ninth birthday last month, and he was soon in the saddle, doing laps of our house. This sparked his idea of completing 200 laps to raise money for charity.

"George understands what a difficult year this has been for many families and wanted to give something back to them, especially with Christmas around the corner.

“George set himself the challenge of completing 200 laps round the house and aimed to raise £150. With generous donations from family and friends, he smashed his target with a whopping total of £230 so far.

"He was so excited when he counted up his sponsorship money and realised he’d raised way over his initial figure he had hoped for. He decided he wanted to donate it to Ledbury Food Bank to support local families over the Christmas period.”

Mrs Pritchard, from Munsley, added: “This was all George’s idea and it was definitely a proud ‘mummy moment’ when he told us what he wanted to do, for such a great cause. It did get a bit chilly standing outside to count his laps, but it was definitely worth it as he has raised over what he was expecting.

“It is 80 steps round our house so he cycled the equivalent of 16,000 steps over two days.”

Mrs Pritchard said that George was impressed by the efforts of 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore, the former British Army Officer who was a regular feature on national news after walking repeatedly around his house to raise funds to help the NHS during the Covid pandemic.

Mrs Pritchard said Captain Tom’s great charitable example was certainly in George’s mind, as he began his task.

His efforts to date have certainly been noticed and appreciated by Ledbury Food Bank.

Martin Ham, a spokesman for Ledbury Food Bank said: “George, you are a hero! Ledbury Food Bank has always been able to feed all the people who have come to it for help, and it is people like you who have who have given donations of food and money who must take the credit for that. We give them our deepest thanks.

"And it is people like you that give us the confidence that in the future we will be able to continue to ensure that all of those who come to us will get food.”

If anyone would like to donate or challenge George to complete more laps, please contact Jayne Pritchard on 07974 249 656.