TEN-year-old Archie Hickey is running up and down his garden 300 times in aid of a charity appeal that keeps older people in Wiltshire warm this winter.

The dedicated youngster wants to raise £300 for Wiltshire Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter appeal. The annual campaign works with partners Age UK, Warm and Safe Wiltshire and both Swindon and Wiltshire Citizens Advice, to distribute grants of up to £200 towards heating bills as well as provide energy-saving or benefits advice to people in fuel poverty.

Last year the appeal raised £142,000 and helped more than 1,200 people pay fuel bills and save energy, as well as apply for other benefits.

Archie, a pupil at All Cannings Primary School, is the son of the community foundation’s joint chief executive Vicky Hickey. She said he came up with the idea on his own after hearing the family discussing the appeal at home.

“Me and my family were talking about mum’s work and she was telling us about the campaign and it really got me thinking,” he said.

“I asked mum to show me the website and when I read it I read the NHS statistic about how 300 people in Wiltshire die each year from not being able to heat their homes and I said to mum ‘what do I have to do to start fundraising?’.”

After deciding against a cake sale and a non-uniform day at school he came up with the idea of running. “I thought it would be a good challenge and 300 lengths links in well to the 300 deaths each year,” he said. “If I find it hard to keep going I will think about how hard it is for people to keep going through the winter when they are cold and can’t get warm.”

His challenge reminds him of another famous garden athlete who raised money to help others. He said: “I realised running up and down the garden was like what Captain Tom had done. I really admired what he did and thought he was inspirational and awesome.”

The Liverpool fan, who lists full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold among his favourite players, is not a keen runner but says that’s what will make Saturday’s run a challenge.

“I did a park run once with my mum and it was very tiring,” he said. “I’m doing it in my back garden which is about 10 metres long so it doesn’t take very long to run it, maybe about five or ten seconds, but I think the longer I am running the longer each lap will take me.”

He estimates the run will take him an hour and he is expecting some friends, as well as his mum and dad Glen, and their two dogs, to cheer him on.

“A few friends have said they will come along and run with me for a couple of lengths if I want them to,” he said.

He has set up a Local Giving fundraising page and has had £110 pledged already. Now he is hoping Saturday is dry, so he doesn’t make his dad’s lawn too muddy, and someone keeps tabs on his laps. “My mum likes counting so she will probably do it,” he said.

Mrs Hickey said: “We’re very proud of Archie because he just came up with this idea by himself without any prompting. We were talking about what it means to live in fuel poverty and how that meant many older people in winter just can’t afford to have their heating on as much as they need to. He was very shocked when he saw 300 people die each year in Wiltshire because of cold-related illness.”

The community foundation is asking anyone who receives a government Winter Fuel Payment and feels they don’t need all or some of it to donate it to the appeal.

To sponsor Archie on his challenge search for Archie’s 300 Challenge on localgiving.com. To donate to the appeal go to wiltshirecf.org.uk or call Wiltshire Community Foundation on 01380 729248. Or send a cheque, made payable to Wiltshire Community Foundation, to the address on the website.