AN eight-year-old boy has set himself a 700-mile fundraising challenge to support research into finding a coronavirus vaccine.

Arthur Harrison, who lives in Thornton-le-Clay, has raised £1,094 towards the Cambridge Covid-19 Research Fund, which specialises in vital vaccination research.

After the closure of his school, in Sherriff Hutton, Arthur has been going for regular bike rides instead of his school PE lessons, racking up about 40 miles per week.

He then decided to set himself a goal of reaching 700 miles by the time he goes back to school. To date he is up to 350 miles.

His family then thought he should raise some money during the challenge, and Arthur came to the decision he would like to “help scientists to make a vaccine to get rid of the virus”.

“As a family, we have always loved the outdoors and cycling,” said Tracy Harrison, Arthur’s mum.

“Normally fitness goes out the window after having children, but we encouraged cycling from a young age, with Arthur partaking in the Castle Howard Triathlons.

“During lockdown, the miles kept ticking over and we decided to contribute towards a project.

“After a considerable amount of research, the Cambridge Covid-19 Research Fund seemed like the perfect project whilst supporting a crucial cause.”

Tracy has set up a JustGiving page with the initial target of raising £500 for the research fund.

After raising more than £450 in two days, the target has now increased to £2,000.

Arthur has also received a letter from Cambridge University, thanking him for his efforts,

which they describe as “extraordinary”.

“The community has shown amazing generosity with donations from neighbours, teachers from school, sporting teams and even the Tesco’s delivery man donated £50,” said Tracy.

“We cannot thank everyone enough, hopefully we can creep towards £2,000 by the end of September.”

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