A nine-year-old schoolgirl who really made her lockdown count by raising £1,310 for St Giles Hospice is calling on kids across the region to take part in its new Mini Miles 4 St Giles challenge.

Determined Evie Deeley signed up for Miles 4 St Giles this spring and walked, ran, skipped and did cartwheels over 64.8 miles in one month to raise money for the hospice, which cares for patients and their families living with a terminal illness.

Now St Giles is launching a children’s summer holiday version of the virtual event, offering kids a challenge that will keep them active and give them the chance to make a real difference to local people by raising money for the hospice at the same time.

St Giles supporter Evie Deeley celebrates the end of her Miles 4 St Giles challenge.

Elinor Eustace, Director of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “Mini Miles 4 St Giles is open to all children and young people – from tots to teens – and you can make your holiday time really count this year by joining in our challenge from home. We’re asking you to register and complete seven days of movement this summer, turning your activities into pounds as part of your fundraising target.

“You can hop, skip and jump, or bike, scoot and bug hunt – your kind-hearted kids can complete their challenge however they like. We will help make your summer more fun by providing you with activity trackers and nature trails and you can challenge your friends and family to get involved too.

“And as you hit your fundraising milestones you can even bag some great St Giles goodies along the way!”

Evie’s mum Liz Whalley said that when the young fundraiser from Lichfield set her sights on the Miles 4 St Giles 30-mile target in April she quickly decided she wanted to double it – and even refused to ride her bike as that would make clocking up the miles too easy.

Liz said: “Evie absolutely loved taking part as it gave her a sense of achievement and got us both out in the fresh air, doing exercise. I’m really proud of her. Usually kids lose their motivation or get bored after a few days but all the way through the month Evie was driving us on.

“I would definitely recommend that people encourage their kids to take part in Mini Miles 4 St Giles after watching Evie. She was so thrilled to be involved and loved reading messages from people on her JustGiving page. She likes feeling useful and being able to help other people so she got so much out of it.”

Evie’s great grandma, Margaret Whalley, received respite care at St Giles 18 years ago and her step-mum works at the hospice, so Evie already knew of the good work done there and jumped at the chance to take part.

Liz added: “As a paramedic I visit St Giles and when we pick up a patient to take them to hospital the staff come out to say goodbye to them. You would think the patient was a member of their own family – it’s so lovely and heart-warming to see.

“When my colleagues heard that Evie was raising money for St Giles they all wanted to make a donation and support her because they all know what a fantastic place it is.”

Mini Miles 4 St Giles has been launched as part of ‘Katie’s Appeal’, the charity’s urgent response to the coronavirus crisis. As only around a third of its funding comes from Government, the hospice relies upon donations and fundraising to raise the £850,000 it needs each month to fund its care services.

A donation of £5 could pay for meals for a patient at the end of their life, £10 could pay for one hour of housekeeping to keep the hospice infection free, and £28 could pay for one hour of one-to-one nursing care for a patient.

Elinor added: “We love that all ages of the community become involved in supporting St Giles Hospice – and we know that keeping children active throughout summer is so important. When we first launched Miles 4 St Giles we had whole families taking part as well as individuals and it proved to us that those mini miles from fantastic young supporters like Evie can make a mighty difference.”

For more information about Mini Miles 4 St Giles, visit www.stgileshospice.com/minimiles

People can also support St Giles Hospice by donating to Katie’s Appeal, by making a one-off or regular monthly donation online at www.stgileshospice.com/katiesappeal or by calling 01543 432538, or by sending a cheque made payable to ‘St Giles Hospice’ to Katie’s Appeal, St Giles Hospice, Fisherwick Road, Whittington, Lichfield WS14 9LH.